We were inspired after Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”
What it does
The goal of the app is to change travel behavior while reducing commuter anxiety during rush hour.
The app improves travel experience by offering commuters alternative routes on their journey home or to work during rush hour. By gamifying the daily rush hour commute, the app not only motivates people to walk before and after boarding, but it also reduces crowding in public transport by rerouting users to areas of the network that are less utilized.
On the start screen, users enter the name of their origin and destination. Once the journey is established, the app sets a radius of 400 meters (typical distance that people are willing to walk) around the point of origin. Three routes are then presented to the user. Each route carries a specific point reward that is based on the different combination of transport modes (e.g., walk, tram, bus) and the current usage of the public transit system. Routes that incentivize longer walks, and reroute users to less busy areas of the system (before and after boarding) are awarded more points. By having pedestrians walk to different public transport locations during rush hour, the app automatically helps to distribute pedestrians within the transit system while ensuring that they get to their destination. Once users complete their commute, their rewards points are saved and can be used towards a variety of discounts offered by SBB, ZVV and Swiss Post.
How we built it
We chose Android platform to build this app since it supports Google Map API in a native way. By communicating with Google Map real time data, the app is capable of using a variety of services that adapt to the needs of the client. Additional Android UI and techniques were also used to animate the game aspects of the app.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into some challenges with the visualization of real-time movement in the map. We also encountered some challenges while establishing a sophisticated route selection algorithm that made use of real-time to reroute pedestrians. The algorithm had to make sure that the choice of routes satisfied pedestrian’s estimate 400 meter willingness to walk.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We implemented the majority of the features that were planned in our meeting before the start of the coding. The smart routing algorithm builds on existing technology while providing a new set of solutions that may actually help to ease crowding during peak travel.
What we learned
Early planning is always essential for projects that have a short deadline. Following Marty Wiener’s advice, we decided from the start with one main goal and keep other things simple.
What's next for us