All of the "hack our planet" speaks motivated us to do something to help our planet. The "move carbon free" challenge then got us and we liked to motivate people to reduce their usage of cars and travel using less carbon. We want to do it in a positive way and therefore don't do finger-pointing etc. So we decided to reward people when they help our save our planet. A win-win for people and our planet!
What it does
Collecting points when reducing CO2 usage and redeem prices, cashout or donate collected points!
When someone likes to travel from A to B he/she can use our "COORE" app. One fills in the start and destination of the trip with Google-Maps assistance. The backend then calculates the routes for different travel types like "car", "public transporation", "e-car", "hybrig", "bicycles" and more using Azure Maps (part of Microsoft Cognitive Services). Having the distance per travel-type in meters we calculate the CO2E (Kg CO2) used. The user then selects how to travel.
We monitor and verify that the user did not cheat then he/she finally submit's the trip done. When then calculate a point score for the CO2 that was saved comparing to travel by car. These points get saved in the users point-history and summed up to the total points the user has.
With these points the user can do various redeem action. He/she can get a discount on the car insurance because the car is used lesser so the risk is less. The are also "partner" organiation where prices depending on the collected points can be rewarded. The user can also donate points for helping our planet even more by supporting conservation projects like "Save the penguines". The may be is also a "cashout" option support by sponsors like the City of Zuerich and Zuerich Insurance.
How we built it
One of us started building the iOS app while the other started testing the 3rd party services we need and write the backend.
The frontend is build using Swift as a native iOS app. It uses Google-Maps autocomplete and maps-view to assist the user.
The backend is a REST service build with .Net Core and C#. It uses its own SQL database to save the collected points / trips. This backend uses REST to calculate routes using Azure Maps (Microsoft Cognitive Services). It does this by query all possible transportation methods in parallel for more performance. Then it uses REST to connect to the Zuerich CO2 calculator service. These requests are done in parallel too. For the data persistance the backend uses a Azure SQL Database and the EntityFrame Core library as the ORM.
Challenges we ran into
- Finding the initial idea.
- 3rd party API's not working (Carbon-Calculator Service).
- Getting the whole cloud-stack incl. database running in the short time.
- Getting connection between all the peaces.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Build a good looking app.
- Getting the whole stack running from iOS native app, connected to the cloud-backend which talks to various other services and databases.
- Having met the deadline.
What we learned
- Focus on scope and deadlines
- Connection issues between Swift-Frontend and .Net-Backend.
What's next for COORE the planet
- Integrate teaming up for car-sharing so driver and passenger reduce CO2 and collect points.
- Check-in / check-out of public transportation using NFC terminals / beacons.