Problem

Android Auto is the bridge between your phone and car’s dashboard. For safety concerns, Android Auto support only two types of third-party apps: Messaging and Music Player As a result, other apps which are better for certain usecases, such as Expedia and Yelp cannot be used. User is limited only to use Google for finding any information.

Our Approach

Voice-enabled Chat Bot to interact with any 3rd party App or API, and find relevant results from those apps. Example: For the following queries around travel/local verticals, we use Expedia API's “Hotels in San Francisco”, “Things to do in Atlanta”, “Search attractions around me”

Motivation

(1) We wanted to build an app for cars that uses some form of artificial intelligence (AI) because: -- In future, they say software will eat cars: Smart car, Connected car, Self-driving car, ... -- AI is ready for its prime time

(2) Personally, each of us have experienced the constant need to search for various types information (e.g., hotels, places to see, things to do) while driving around a new unfamiliar place

So we created TripGenie, which is a car app that uses AI and solves our problem.

What it does

User sends messages to the bot. When user says "Hotels in San Francisco", the bot on the phone receives the message. It understands the message using the NLP API's provided by api.ai.

Once it finds the users intent, it picks an appropriate bot which can best satisfy the query. For example., in our current implementation at the hackathon, we have three bots each of which uses a different expedia endpoint.
Bot makes several API calls and constructs a series of responses (one for each result), which are then sent to the Android Auto to be played back to the user as voice messages. Each message will have information about, say a restaurant, hotel or a business. User can respond back to the bot and navigate between the results.

How we built it

We built Android app powered by Expedia and api.ai API's

Challenges we ran into

Integrating Multiple API's Limitations of Android Auto with respect to the platform and 3rd party integration Lack of documentation as it is fairly new

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Idea of using bots to interact with 3rd party apps is a novel idea. We are proud that we were able to successfully integrate and create a working, usable prototype in such a short span of time.

What we learned

Building Android Auto App Asynchronous Programming in Android Able to use interesting 3rd party API's for relevant usecases

What's next for TripGenie

Polish and release the app to Google Playstore Expand the support for multiple verticals Planning an entire trip including navigation

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