The inspiration for this app actually came from reading about the ride sharing application Wingz. We found it interesting that users find an alternative to Uber more desirable to get to the airport even though the amount of drivers on Uber greatly outnumbers the drivers available on Wingz. We believe part of the reason for the demand is that the costs of being late to the airport are very high and user foresight into traffic patterns on a specific day is very low. Our app aims to reduce uncertainty and anxiety in the ride-requesting process by scheduling and performing background jobs that monitor traffic patterns and pickup wait times, in order to notify our users and allow them to request a ride at the most optimal time. This is a higher value add than simply scheduling a ride in the future at a fixed time; our app actually helps you respond to life's uncertainties and unpredictability by getting you where you need to be on time.
We are proud of the logic we wrote to schedule and monitor ride requests for events our users submit. Our background jobs will first start checking 3 hours before the estimated time of departure that is calculated at event creation. Our logic will continue to check at more frequent intervals 1.5 hours before, 45 minutes before, etc., until the estimated ideal departure time (plus a 10-minute buffer) is less than 10-minutes away. If at any time during our background logic a user's estimated ride time + a user's estimated pickup time + a notification buffer of 10 minutes is greater than the time our user has remaining to get to their destination on time (e.g. because traffic jumped markedly), we immediately send a Twilio notification with a link to request an Uber.
I am personally really proud of our team for not giving up. We faced a huge hurdle in having to redo our entire front end from Angular to Rails on the last night before the project deadline. Rather than wash our hands, we all stayed up late, half of us remotely, and kept in contact to get our application where we felt proud to present it to you all. This is our first hackathon together and I'm glad we handled the challenge this way.
Our target user has a critical need to get to a location on time but wants the convenience and security that Uber provides to get them there. We believe we have empowered time sensitive travelers to be more confident in using Uber to get where they need to be on time. We also believe we have made it easier to request an Uber since we have reduced the need to check the app frequently before booking. This is very useful because most of us will not have the bandwidth to monitor traffic patterns frequently throughout the day before requesting a ride.