One big problem for students like us is travelling by ourselves. Sometimes we need alternatives to the conventional public transport because is obsolete or it simply doesn’t arrive where we want to go. Although most of the times public transport is the better way to travel efficiently, we have faced many awful situations, for example getting out of a full train and being late to some concert. This is where our website mobile application is pointing to, we want to offer a eco-friendly transport alternative for the people and connect them to attend events and share experiences.
We are suffering a global climate change that can accelerate the destruction of our life as we conceive it. We made this app also with the purpose of reducing global CO2 emissions and trying to minimize its effects in Earth. If we convince people to start sharing cars instead of taking his own car, we will be able to reduce the emissions drastically.
We aimed our project to solve the contamination problem and for improving the quality of the transport in the society. We developed a mobile web app called Ecoify that groups users that attend events into cars. Our application can, among other things, improve life quality for people that live far away from his work or university. It can group people that shares an interest to attend some event or some place, create a relationship between them and fight the global emissions at the same time. Our website also prioritise the eco-friendly cars. When a user wants to go to some event, the list of the cars is ordered in highest eco-friendly rank, so we want that the user has in mind how its decision affects to the environment. When we group people into cars we are reducing the number of cars in the road, that implies a big reduction of the global emissions, and also sharing an experience in the road.
As a user you have many options in the app. You can either create a new event, or join an existing one. You can join as a car attendant, or you can try to join some car leaving to the event from the same city of the user. You can also join other events and take a look of which ones are you attending to, and cancel them if you want.
We already came to the Hackathon with this idea, so we didn’t have any conceptual difficulties. However, we encountered many difficulties trying to safe our data into a Firebase server. When we finally solved this problem, we were a little bit doubtful about the way we were going to recommend the cars to the users. We could implement our solution with an algorithm that assigns every user the optimal car, but we thought we were coercing its free choice. So we finally decide to give the user all the options, but trying to make him see what is the best choice for the environment.
I think the idea we worked out at the end of the hackathon was pretty good. The time was brief so we couldn’t develop features we planned before, so we will try to implement those in the future. We wanted to classify with more parameters the cars looking to implement a stronger algorithm, in addition, we wanted to add a feature where you get automatically auto-filled to the best eco-friendly car available at the moment. However, we always wanted to respect the users freedom to choose. Maybe we could consider working with some big companies interested in our idea!
What have we learned?
One of the things that we learned and we consider that is one of the more important is to prioritise the work. A hackaton is a rush competition where you have a brief time to develop, so what we did is develop all the functional parts that represent our app, and delegate the complementary ones to the future.