Inspiration

While touring cities, we often find interesting sights during our rides that we are unable to capture using cameras, because we are busy driving. Those moments come and then go quickly.

What it does

Re-live.Your.Rides allows Ford drivers to record their trips (including location, telemetry information) using simple menu item on Ford AppLink system or voice command "Record View". Once finished, drivers can playback their rides using the app. It uses the recorded data to recreate the experience using StreetView.

We also made it easy to share the video with friends on social networks such as facebook, YouTube or Twitter.

How we built it

After ideation, we created a low-fidelity user experience mockup on paper, as well as an application architecture diagram to identify the required components and how they interact with each other. We quickly created a new github repo and Slack channel for asset sharing. Maria started creating UX assets, Sean focused on the AppLink integration while Billy started drafting the iOS ViewControllers and assembling the necessary framework components through CocoaPods.

Along the way, we integrate each piece to identify weaknesses in our storytelling and re-prioritize.

Challenges we ran into

User Interface: Overlaying the gauge, map and other elements on top of the Street View visualization was challenging. After many failed attempts, we managed to achieve a translucent user experience that is both useful and visually appeasing.

AppLink: Documentation and sample code were in very early stages. Frequent consultation with Ford developers was critical. TDK and simulators still had some work to do to enable a smooth developer experience. Debugging on iOS with TDK was proven to be tricky because the phone could not be connected to the TDK and Xcode at the same time. This had made things a lot harder than it had to be. Fixes and bug fixing without a step-by-step debugger and console output was hard.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were very pleased to be able to go from conceptual sketches to an integrated working prototype that included integration with Ford AppLink, TDK Development Kit, Google StreetView and LMGauges. The team had limited access to latest Ford libraries, simulators and documentation before the event. It was challenging and yet satisfying.

What we learned

In-car application is highly promising and untapped. It's still in very early stages and very close interactions with OEM manufacturers will be the key to quality delivery. Internationalization is going to be a significant challenge as well. Drivers' expectations on in-car apps will be much higher than other consumer apps. It cannot crash and has to work as reliably as the car itself.

What's next for "Re-live.Your.Rides"

We intend to share the prototype with Ford development teams to access the potential and opportunities in this space.

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