Inspiration

We were inspired to do smartcar hack after learning that a 2019 Tesla Model S was available for testing on at this hackathon. We learned that the smartcar API allows remote communication with any 3G/LTE capable car without hardware. Remote functions include turning on/off the care remotely, accessing car model/year information, getting odometer and location readings all remotely. We saw much untapped potential in the smartcar API. We wanted to create an innovative, useful, scalable impactful project geared towards B2B. We wanted to find a well rounded team containing not only developers, but designers and marketers. Our team consists of two developers, one designer and one marketer. We wanted to choose a topic more targeted towards our team composition, therefore we chose a topic requiring no external hardware that could incorporate all our skill sets while offering social value.

What it does

We made a website, a fleet management platform that does not require any additional hardware/software to use. Our platform allows businesses with many vehicles to better manage and monitor their employee car use remotely and in an automated way. This remote monitoring allows company to identify long term employee car use trends and potential misuse of company vehicles. All that is needed is for the vehicle to have 3G/LTE access. For our platform to work optimally, all vehicles are assumed to leave from the same location and are returned to the same location. A driver is tasked with making a delivery to a place A. Our platform helps determine the difference between the expected distance driven and actual distance driver, expected time taken and actual time taken. Overall, our platform allows management to verify that the employee is using the company vehicle for its intended purpose remotely.

How we built it

We used Flask for the backend.

Challenges we ran into

There was some difficulty with Javascript, more specifically a cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) bug. It was challenging at first to decide on a specific car related topic that was within our time and skill limits.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The 2019 Tesla Model S was hidden somewhere near the hackathon site. We were able to locate the car's physical location by submitting a request to the smartcar API using the car's credentials. We also submitted a request to unlock the Tesla remotely, however did not have a chance to verify the outcome.

What we learned

We learned that although the technology to communicate with vehicles exists, there is lots of room for improvement in terms of the type of information than can be retrieved. We had interested in accessing car on/off status, fuel tank information, speedometer reading, however these were data not currently available through the smartcar API.

What's next for SmartFleet

In the future we hope to create a fleet management solution which which helps employees stays on schedule and operate efficiently, while allowing businesses to minimize fleet operational costs. We hope to be able to retrieve more types of information to improve the accuracy of the platform.

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