The inspiration came from a desire to leverage technology to make a positive impact on the lives of families and students.
What it does
MyBusMate app provides a convenient and reliable solution for parents and students to track the location and estimated time of arrival of the school bus. This is an everyday task for families with school-going children, who rely on the bus for transportation to and from school. The following are some of the problems that the app addresses:
- Long wait times for students: Students often have to wait for long periods at their bus stops, not knowing when their bus will arrive. The app eliminates this uncertainty by providing an estimated time of arrival based on the bus' location.
- Inaccurate bus arrival times: Schools may provide rough arrival times for the bus, but these can often be inaccurate due to traffic, road closures, and other unexpected events. The app's real-time GPS tracking eliminates this issue by providing up-to-date information on the bus' location and estimated time of arrival.
- Parental worry: Parents worry about their children waiting for the bus in the morning or after school, especially if the bus is running late. The app provides peace of mind for parents by allowing them to track the bus' location in real-time and receive notifications when the bus is approaching.
How we built it
We used Unity3D for the mobile app for both students and the bus driver. The data is stored to a Google Firestore Database. The Google Maps view was created with ReactJS and is added to the Unity app with a WebView. The administrator Dashboard is also a ReactJS web app. Unity's package Mobile Notifications was used for Push Notifications on the Android smartphone.
Challenges we ran into
We had some trouble integrating the different technologies and making them work together seamlessly. Also, we are still undecided whether the driver/student registration will be handled by an admin (possibly the School’s administrator) or each student/driver will register individually and be sent an automatically generated password.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our project was ambitious and required a big range of skills, ranging from user authentication, API integration, UI/ UX and many more essential topics in software development and tech. We're proud of executing our fun and creative idea up to a nearly complete level, as well as managing to keep up with time pressure.
What we learned
We learned ways to improve our technical knowledge, communication and writing skills. We learned the fundamentals of Google Maps API, of Google Firestore and how to combine different APIs to build a web/mobile app. But, most importantly, we learned about efficient time management, the importance of focusing on the absolutely critical elements of a project in order to meet the deadlines.
What's next for MyBusMate
We are considering incorporating advanced features into the app, such as the ability for administrators to easily remove students who do not require bus transportation for a particular day. This would enable the app to automatically assign a new route for the driver accordingly.