Mexico City has had the highest levels of pullution in recent times. We wanted to build a tool that would help people improve the air quality which in turn will improve quality of life of Mexico City residents.
The main idea is to educate people and give them an app that would help them to plan their daily commutes taking in cosideration: air quality, the Hoy No Circula program, and their own preferences. The go green bot will help them to find a green, fast or most affordable commute.
What it does
You log in/signup with an email and password...that's it! You can then allow location permissions and push notification permissions in the app.
The Go Green Bot will notify you a few times a day of air quality changes via the Hoy No Circula Program. It can also add your daily commutes such as going from home to work. Go Green will look for the most optimal route for you depending of the levels of pullution.
Go Green will consider 3 things in calculating your routes: green (eco bici, public transportation, uber pool), fastest (waze, uber), and cheapest (public transportation).
Go Green bot supports trip planning questions and requests, and provides suggested routes for any of your journeys on public transit. Just tell the bot where you want to go and where you’re traveling from, and it’ll provide you with the top routes to get there. You can choose if you want to repeat the route, get notified on weekdays or weekends, or both. The bot also gives you price estimates from Uber and checks if there is a surge on their pricing, from all uber services: uber pool (green), uber x (fast).
Plan your trip, set reminders, get notifications about disruptions, pollution levels, weather, and changes on the Hoy No Circula Program. Coming soon, easily request an Uber, grab the closest bike share or drive to your destination.
How we built it
We have the backend API build on Ruby On Rails, using the light API framework grape, we have background workers that gather all the data from different sources. The workers run a few times a day and notify our users. The API is powered by a Postgresql database and Redis store for background jobs. The iOS app was build in Swift. We are currently hosting the api on Heroku for the moment, but we plan to move to a cheaper solution for launch.
Challenges we ran into
Ecobici: We requested an API key and we never received it, they kept sending us the secret with a placeholder: Open Data client: client_secret.
Submit to the Apple store takes time, unfortunately we couldn't finish on time to send with 3 days in advance and get approved, the work around we found was creating a TestFlight beta build, the inconvenience is that we need to send manually the build to a valid email address.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We have a working prototype! Just request to be added to our TestFlight build sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What we learned
We learned a lot of how mexico city residents move commute every day, we talked to a bunch of local people and we tailored an experience that we think would help them every day, we also learned that a lot of people have pretty long commutes that combines cars, eco bici's, metrobus and subway, some people have to take 3-4 different transportation options to get to work.
Also we learned that we should have started earlier developing the app.
What's next for Go Green
- Go Green will launch officially on August 15th, we are really close to have a working product that we believe could be useful to people.
- We will be improving the commute widget. Wee will add the 3 recommended routes to help people to look for the green, faster or cheaper route. We plan to have a deeper integration with uber, ecobici and waze.
- Android Users: the Go Green bot will be available on Facebook messenger and telegram pretty soon, and there will be a dedicated android app by the fall.
- We are currently testing using hockeyapp, send us an email if you want to get a build: email@example.com