Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN is an all-women's college that has a long history and close ties with the University of Notre Dame. As such, many Saint Mary's student are out late studying and having fun with friends not only on campus, but also across the street at Notre Dame. In order to protect the students' safety as they return home at night, Saint Mary's Security has established a nighttime escort service in which a van is driven between the buildings on campus and the Grotto at Notre Dame to pickup and drop off students at the various stops.

In order to enhance the efficiency of this service, we have developed an app to track the van's location and allow students to inform the driver of their location on his route in the click of a button.

What it does

Saves and reports the van's location via an iPad Mini by sending coordinates to our firebase domain and pushing this information to users in real time

Map displays the van's location and typical route, as well as the locations of each building on Saint Mary's Campus that he picks up at

Next expected van stop is highlighted

Separate users to integrate both the van driver's and the users' needs

This is currently implemented through "Admin" and "Student" buttons for testing, but will eventually require a log in with a valid Saint Mary's account name and password


Can see their location, the van's location, and the building name of each van stops

Click the button in any of the pin descriptions to let the driver know where you are and that you would like to be picked up from there


Can see his/her location and the number of students who have selected a location to be picked up at each location

Click the button in any of the pin descriptions to highlight a different stop as the next pickup

How I built it

We used Swift to develop this project as an iOS app, utilizing MapKit to display the map and points of interest, UIKit to allow for user input, and CoreLocation to obtain user location.

We used Firebase as a server to send and receive information to and from. We chose Firebase because of its realtime database system.

What I learned

We did not know how to use a database system such as Firebase or how to develop an iOS application in Swift, so we learned a lot about both systems during this process.

What's next for SMC SafeRide

I have talked to the directors of the Dept. of Information Technology at Saint Mary's about this project and will be meeting to discuss further testing and implementation. This will require that it is synced with the college's list of students for login. We will also test it the ensure that it works properly in realtime, since it has been tested with hardcoded coordinates thus far.

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