When we started brainstorming we were thinking not of ways to invent a new technology for mobility, since that would just not feasible to implement in 24 hours, but of a way that makes currently existing mobility technologies more efficient. We realized that currently most cars are used in an extremely inefficient manner. We use them maybe 2-3 times a day or even less and the rest of the time the cars just waste parking space. So we came up with the idea of private car sharing, however there are already existing apps that offer private car sharing as a service so we had to pivot our idea a little. We eventually figured out a niche for our app: People going on a flight and want to conveniently use their cars to go to the airport, but don't want to pay for expensive parking. We saw the opportunity to let people rent out their cars to traditional car renting companies like Europcar at the airport. Therefore the people won't have to pay for parking and get even rewarded by the car renting company.
What it does
We built an app that incorporates the aspect of private care sharing into the service of Europcar. The app let's you rent out your car to Europcar in exchange for points that can be used to rent out other cars, whilst you're traveling. The app aims to reduce CO2 emissions by making it cheaper to use CO2 efficient cars and rewarding drivers for driving efficiently. A challenge and reward system builds the aspect of gamification into the app and encourages users to use the app and the Europcar service more often.
How we built it
Starting just from the idea of private car sharing we developed our idea of the app through vivid discussions and brainstorming. We collected all the possible features that we might want to add to the app and then decided which ones where critical and which were more of a "nice to have". We then started designing the user interface and planning how to implemented the most important features. At that point we started assigning chunks of work to different team members. Our designers were building a detailed user interface and our coders started implementing the designs.
Challenges we ran into
As everyone of our team members has a different cultural as well as professional background, we initially had very different ideas of what the app should look like. We just had so many different ideas and features that we wanted to implement, but only very limited time to actually code the all the features. Even if we have had enough time, we didn't want to overcomplicate the app so we had to neglect all the features that weren't completely vital to our app.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to have to have finished a working life demo, that will hopefully be implemented by Europcar into their service and will not just be a convenient way of using cars better but also reducing the CO2 footprint that is caused by Europcars service.
What we learned
For most of our team it was our first hackathon so obviously we all learned a lot. To work in a team with people that have never meet before was a very interesting experience and we did really improve our team working skills. Furthermore it was fascinating to see how much work can be done in such a short time, when the whole team is really committed and cares about completing the project.
What's next for Europcar Challenge
If Europcar likes our prototype we are open to continue working on the project, but it really depends on what kind of offer they give us, since most of us are currently quite busy with work and other projects.