Some of us had frustrations during our long trips. For example, gas stations would not be near when the tank was running empty and there were no hotels around when we got tired. Not only did we want logistical planning, but we wanted financial planning as well. Too often would we realize that we spent too much on dinner, or didn't account for that one more tank fill up. We set out to fix these issues with our website.
What it does
After entering your start and end point, it uses Google Maps to route the trip. It then plots gas stations around every 250 miles, the usual amount where the average car would have to fill up. If the trip is long, it also finds hotels so that the user can plan for rest. The website counts how many gas station stops are needed, how many overnight hotel stays will be needed, and approximately how much food the user will buy and automatically generates a list of expenses.
The website allows users to login and it connects them to their Capital One bank account. This helps to plan financially for the trip by allowing users to see their account balance. Purchases are tracked real time and subtracted from their balance so users can see how much they are spending. Transactions made throughout the trip can also be analyzed.
How we built it
We used Google Maps API for route planning and stop points. We then used the Capital One Nessie API to monitor transactions, pull account balance, and find nearby ATMs. The transaction analysis graph pulled transaction history from Capital One and was created using CanvasJS.
Challenges we ran into
Google had API Query limits so we could not use it as much as we wanted to. The Capital One API also was not very flexible and provided limited data. For example, ATMs were limited to certain cities and could not be added.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
What's next for Financial Road Trip Planner
We would like to implement food recommendations based on a user inputted budget level. There was no current API for this, but according to Yelp, there will be an available API soon. A nice feature would be more accurate gas calculations based on the user's selected car. We also need to clean up the code to improve functionality. If we had time, we would have liked to have a mobile application and live navigation added as one of the features.