G45 Capstone Project Begins…

Today was (is?) the day!

We’ve officially begun working on our capstone projects in the G45 cohort. I attempted to begin work on mine over the weekend, but after spending more time than I’d like to admit trying to get an API to respond, and finding out Monday that it is no longer supported/works, I had to rethink my project idea.

I had a thought about the fourth week of the program to make an app that makes the roads safer for cyclists.

This came after I was hit by a car riding my bike to school a mere two and a half weeks after my move to Austin. It was a big deal, and on top of being the scariest moment of my life, brought months of troubles a long with it.

I just finished up with everything legally, and medically less than a month ago. Nearly the duration of the program.

Anyway, that is neither here nor there. The point is, that idea has seen new life.

This is from 2012. Austin is ranked as one of the least safe cities in the country for Cyclists and Pedestrians.

For my capstone, I will be creating an app that alerts drivers to a cyclists presence. If the app is running, the driver will be able to see any cyclist using the app on the map around them, and be alerted when a cyclist comes within a certain proximity of them.

If the user wants to use some other navigation, or cycling tracking app they can just run my app in the background, and still receive the same alert to keep a look out for a nearby cyclist.

In my accident, there was nothing I could have done to prevent it, and maybe had the woman who hit me had the thought that a cyclist was nearby in her head, she would have looked twice before proceeding. Thats where my app comes in. Promoting awareness of cyclists, so they are more likely to be seen.

MVP will need the following features:

When a user opens the APP, they choose wether they will be driving, or cycling.

This sets up the state of the app for the user, if cycling, while the app is running they will appear on the map within a certain distance of drivers using the app, and alerts will be pushed to drivers in their more immediate vicinity.

The state of the driver has already been explained in this article.

And thats pretty much it for MVP. It sounds simple, but I am learning completely new technologies to get it done. The following is a list of these, I’d like ti emphasize that ALL OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES ARE COMPLETELY NEW TO ME.

  • Swift
  • MapBox
  • PubNub
  • Some sort of Design aspect for swift (see, I don’t even know what to use for the lay out yet)

Stretch goals I would LOVE to complete are:

  • Driver alerts specify what street the nearby cyclist is on, and which direction they are heading
  • Cyclists are able to see drivers using the app, and can choose wether they want to be alerted of a drivers presence or not
  • A trail behind the cyclist and cars path on the map that indicates which direction they are heading
  • Ability for cyclists to make accounts and keep track of the speed and distance of their rides. This would be optional, as I’d like the app to be very easy to use. No account required, but if you’d like one, get one.
  • Ability for cyclists to send a “thank you” to drivers for using the app.
  • Reminder to wear a helmet for cyclists, and a reminder for drivers to look both ways and pay extra attention upon entering the app.

And thats basically it for now. I’ve been learning about swift all day, and I am very excited.