Description: Students and families alike love to take road trips across the country. Road trips are a fun way to experience small town America while getting us to our final destinations with minimal expenses. Despite their advantages, however, road trips can involve tedious financial concerns, ranging from finding the cheapest gas along the route to ordering at a drive-thru window with a car full of people. With Via, these issues evaporate to provide a fun, carefree roadtripping experience. Via provides some helpful roadtripping features while also tracking all of your expenses along the way, allowing for easy reimbursements between roadtrippers. Feature List:
- Create a road trip: Name the trip, enter your destination, and invite your Venmo friends to join you!
- Fuel Frugally: Find (and navigate to) the three cheapest gas stations along your route within the distance you select
- Road Rations & Order Up: Find (and navigate to) food places along your route. Once a food place has been selected, orders submitted from each roadtripper's phone are combined into a single feed which the driver can access. This is especially useful when going through the drive through: the driver can just read off the list of orders. This is much easier than either everyone shouting out the window or having the driver remember everyone's oddly specific orders. Once the meal has been paid for, prices for various items can be entered and saved for the end of the trip.
- Add a Charge: Along the way a lot of different expenses can pop up: hotels, parking, toll roads, gas, and so on. A lot of these charges are small, so splitting the cost every time a payment is made can be tedious, but at the same time nobody wants to end up paying for everyone's parking every time. This feature lets users add charges and keep track of who is paying the bills and who is splitting the bills all along the way.
- Switch Driver Duty: This allows drivers to switch off, giving different trip members/users different options on their Via dashboards.
- Go to destination: This option allows the user to go straight to their final destination, not navigating to any food, gas, or pit stops along the way.
- Trip Tally: At any point during the trip, a user can see how much they've paid and how much they're owed to help every member of the trip track spending.
- The Gang: This panel allows anyone to see at a glance who has been invited on the road trip. If a person has been invited and hasn't accepted yet, their name and picture are faded. The current driver's photo it outlined.
- The End: At the end of the trip, the driver can click "the end" and a page similar to the Trip Tally page will appear. Via will then send out Venmo requests to balance all expenses among trip members.
How it was built: We built Via as a mobile web app, using Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL for our database. The main API we used was Venmo (for user login, friend lists, and payments), but we also used the Google Maps API, the Google Places API, and the MyGasFeed API. The icons are Twitter emoji, but the rest of the graphics we made ourselves.