Inspiration

Our group believes that global climate change is an important issue.

So we wondered, "Why don't people take it as seriously as they should?" Even people who believe in the effects of climate change sometimes don't make the best decisions..

We identified two causes:

1) It's sometimes hard to know the exact effects of our everyday choices. Sure, we may think that global warming is bad in the abstract, but how much does driving a little more than we need really hurt the environment? It's sometimes hard to conceptualize these effects.

2) A lot of the ways that people are told to deal with climate are difficult and expensive. Riding bikes is uncomfortable, not everyone has access to public transportation, and electric vehicles can be expensive.

We wanted to solve these problems. We wanted to give people an easy, free way to help the environment, and understand their impact. As a bonus our app will save its users a lot of money.

What Ridr does

Ridr is a ride-sharing application. The first time you log in, you'll be asked some questions about yourself, such as your music preferences, some of your hobbies, and what are some of the regular routes you take, for example Home to Work on weekday mornings at 8:00am.

After that, Ridr matches you with people taking the same route as you at the same time. It automatically splits the cost of the trip between the driver and the rider.

The application also tracks how much money its saving each user, and how much CO2 our users are preventing from entering the atmosphere. The statistics are pretty surprising. based on the telemetry data we obtained from Toyota, a user with a relatively fuel efficient car that has a 20 mile commute from home to work every weekday will save about $500 a year using Ridr, just on their work commute alone. On that same 20 mile commute, a user will prevent sixty-six pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every week. As a nation, if the U.S. used our ride sharing app to get to do only one-sixth of their trips, we’d release 125 million metric tons less of CO2.

Our statistics feature goes further than that. It uses the data it's received to project into the future. Users will get messages informing them things like, "if you keep using the app for the next seven years, you'll save $3,503.11." It uses current data and extrapolates forward.

Ridr does the same for how much carbon users are preventing from entering our atmosphere. For example, a user may be shown, "if you keep using Ridr for the next thirty years, you'll prevent 102,960 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere."

How we built it

Ridr is a mobile app developed for android devices given that they are the most common mobile OS on the market. We used Android Studio to develop Ridr using Java and XML. All of our data is held on Google Firebase Servers from here we can have a quick and easy experience for our users. We started by creating system and state diagrams to map out the functions of our application. Then we used Agile Scrum to divide the tasks among our team to complete. We used github as our version control software and each team member had their own branch to avoid erros in commits to the master branch. After the team finished Ridr's core functions, we tackled the user interface and decided to go with a simple design that is based off of Google's Material Design for their applications.

Challenges we ran into

The most challenging part of our project was assuring all team members were on the same page and their commits their branches were up to date. In the end, teamwork often decides fate of a project.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

-Ridr allows State Farm to continue rewarding its members for making smart choices by providing Rewards Points for using Ridr. -Ridr accesses real data to simulate into the future to tell people the financial benefits they could get if they continued to use the application, and invest in ride sharing. -Ridr will help to significantly reduce carbon emissions. -Ridr presents information on users' carbon footprints in ways that are easy to understand. We think that this will encourage them to keep using the application. -When people are brought together through our application, we believe that this will increase social awareness about climate change and the financial benefits of ride sharing. -Ridr uses Toyota telemetry data in a cool and innovative way--it allows us to get real time data on fuel usage, rather than just estimate. We think that it's important to be precise when thinking about environmental impacts, and hope that Toyota's example will set an industry standard.

What we learned

Our team learned the full-stack development cycle as our team members had to switch between front-end and back-end tasks. We learned how to use git correctly to correctly organize the advancements we made in our project.

What's next for Ridr

We plan to implement a full chat system to allow our users to communicate and build a community around Ridr. We wish to achieve compatibility with OBDII so that the algorithms we have created based on toyotas data can be used by all drivers and provide a safer and clean environment. We would like to implement background checks for people who would consider themselves drivers. We would like refine the core functions of Ridr and build an application with the scalability to save the environment. Ridr will save the earth one trip to work at a time.

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