Individuals battling with cancer and other serious illnesses deserve the support of their communities. There are some existing volunteer driver programs. However, these are limited to certain regions and rely on a slow telephone based process. We were inspired to streamline the process of connecting clinical patients to volunteer drivers, through a safe and caring platform.
What it does
Our app allows volunteer drivers and ride-seekers to be connected based upon scheduling compatability. Using the FordConnect API, our app pulls vehicle information, such as location, odometer, fuel level, status, etc. Location is visible through the app for sharing with others for the safety of both the volunteer driver and the ride-seeker. Odometer and fuel level information can be used for fuel reimbursement.
How we built it
Using Android Studio with Flutter, we developed an app that can be used in Android and iOS environments. We used authorization tokens to configure and make HTTP requests to the FordConnect API. Flutter packages such as table_calendar and sqlite were used to develop scheduling features as well as an SQLite database to store volunteer driver information.
Challenges we ran into
This was our team's first comprehensive mobile application using Flutter and our first attempt at using a corporate API. We faced a steep learning curve that we scaled collaboratively.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to successfully authorize and make requests to the FordConnect API within our own codebase. We created an app that serves a meaningful purpose. We are proud of our careful consideration of safety-related features, namely location tracking during the journey, to keep volunteer drivers and ride-seekers safe.
What we learned
Collaborative debugging goes a long way to overcome persistent bugs. Asking for help and seeking out online resources is vital to understanding new technology beyond writing boilerplate code.
What's next for RideCare
Future versions of our platform will involve: user feedback, rating features for drivers and ride-seekers, location-sharing to contacts directly within the app, and more. Future integration with in-vehicle routing services would also elevate the value provided by our app.