While using ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, passengers, particularly those of marginalized identities, have reported feeling unsafe or uncomfortable being alone in a car. From user interviews, every woman has mentioned personal safety as one of their top concerns within a rideshare. About 23% of American women have reported a driver for inappropriate behavior. Many apps have attempted to mitigate this issue by creating rideshare services that may hire only female drivers. However, these apps have quickly gotten shut down due to discrimination laws. Additionally, around 40% of Uber and Lyft drivers are white males, possibly due to the fact that many minorities may feel uncomfortable in certain situations as a driver. We aimed to create a rideshare app which would provide the same sense of safeness and comfort that the aforementioned apps aimed to provide while making sure that all backgrounds are represented and accounted for.

What it does

Our app, Driversity (stylized DRiveristy), works similarly to other ridesharing apps, with features put in place to assure that both riders and drivers feel safe. The most important feature we'd like to highlight is a feature that allows the user to be alerted if a driver goes off the correct path to the destination designated by the rider. The app will then ask the user if they would like to call 911 to notify them of the driver's actions. Additionally, many of the user interviews we conducted stated that many women prefer to walk around, especially at night, while waiting for a rideshare driver to pick them up for safety concerns. The app provides an option for users to select in order to allow them to walk around while waiting for their rideshare, also notifying the driver of their dynamic location. After selecting a destination, the user will be able to select a driver from a selection of three drivers on the app. On this selection screen, the app details both identity and personality traits of the drivers, so that riders can select drivers they feel comfortable riding with. Users also have the option to provide feedback on their trip afterward, as well as rating the driver on various aspects such as cleanliness, safe driving, and comfort level. The app will also use these ratings to suggest drivers to users that users similar to them rated highly.

How we built it

We built it using Android Studio in Java for full-stack development. We used the Google JavaScript Map API to display the map for the user when selecting destinations and tracking their own location on the map. We used Firebase to store information and for authentication of the user. We used DocuSign in order for drivers to sign preliminary papers. We used OpenXC to calculate if a driver was traveling safely and at the speed limit. In order to give drivers benefits, we are giving them the choice to take 5% of their income and invest it, and it will grow naturally as the market rises.

Challenges we ran into

We weren't very familiar with Android Studio, so we first attempted to use React Native for our application, but we struggled a lot implementing many of the APIs we were using with React Native, so we decided to use Android Studio as we originally intended.

What's next for Driversity

We would like to develop more features on the driver's side that would help the drivers feel more comfortable as well. We also would like to include the usage of the Amadeus travel APIs.

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