I use car pooling every day to go to work. And I am lucky to have someone to drive me there I know it can be troublesome to find someone that is driving the same route at the same time so I guess I can say that my own experience was the inspiration to implement this app.
What it does
Traffic jams are the main problem of Sao Paulo roads. How can we solve it when most people prefer to ride their own cars instead of using public transport? Average car is being driven only by one person and as we know it can take at least four of them. Imagine full vehicles moving around the city. Only by this we can decrease the number of cars by four times. It is more than enough to end traffic congestion.
I want to encourage people to ride with each other but I haven't stopped there. I would like the users to combine the new ‘park and ride’ model and car pooling together, so they can easily move between private and public transportation. Now you don't need to resign from comfort and easiness of a car.
To make the project more interesting, I added gamification to the whole process. Now you can gain points for riding with other people, complete goals and unlock achievements. Be the master of the ranking and “let's go further together”.
How I built it
To build the app I used Android as a mobile platform and Django as an web API to connect all the users and allow them to see who has similar routes and enable the gamification.
Challenges I ran into
Using two completely different technologies can be troublesome. This alone is generating a lot of small issues. Not to mention a lot of work on the front end to enhance the user experience to the limit of my abilities. But the biggest challenge was finding the time and motivation to complete this app in spite of all the obstacles of everyday life and work.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
That the app works flawlessly and all animations and other UI/UX features are eye candy to all the people that helped me with testing it. This is quite a challenge to accomplish and this comes from an experienced developer that does this every day for a living.
What I learned
That in the next challenge I will be needing some help from others. And that SaoPaulo has quite the problem with traffic.
What's next for PickMeUp
I hope that it will be recognized and used by SaoPaulo citizens as well as other people to enhance the quality of living of everyone. There are many ideas in my mind for the future and I am disappointed that I could not implement them in this version but maybe I will have the opportunity to update it.
Don’t drive alone. Pick me up.