An Android and iOS app that makes dealership shuttle rides easy


Design, iOS, Android, Web, React Native

Client Challenge

The idea for Quick Ride began when three auto dealership service managers noticed customers often complaining about shuttle rides to and from their dealerships. Customers would need to commute while their cars were being serviced, but shuttle services were slow, disorganized and expensive to maintain.
Quick Ride became the solution: an app that would show where a dealer’s shuttle was at all times. One of the Quick Ride founders approached Suna to make improvements to the app. After meeting with the Quick Ride team and evaluating their existing app, the Suna team went back to square one with Quick Ride, deconstructing and reanalyzing the shuttle problem to build a better app than the one Quick Ride initially designed to solve their problem.

Market Validation

Because the Quick Ride app hadn’t gained significant traction at the time the team brought Suna in, Suna set out to make sure that the problem space Quick Ride was trying to fill was an actual problem for customers. The Suna team visited different auto dealerships to chronicle and quantify the problems shuttle services posed for customers. Key experiences of these visits included:

* A Suna partner waiting in a backroom for over an hour for the shuttle to pick him up. The shuttle driver had arrived but was not informed that anyone was waiting, so the driver resigned to completing other duties at the dealership.

* A Suna partner signing his name to a sheet and waiting outside in the rain for 30 minutes before the shuttle picked him up.

* A conversation with a service manager who despised the shuttle system, which was mandated by the car manufacturer and was also a major source of customer complaints.

* Service managers in a daily battle to manage their shuttles pickups and dropoffs. Sales teams would often have to scramble to find shuttles for customers, ultimately costing the dealerships money in lost sales time.

After seeing firsthand the enormity of the problem for both dealers and customers, the Suna team felt Quick Ride’s desire for a solution was valid, and Suna began to work on solutions.

Given the scope of the problem, the Suna team needed to rebuild Quick Ride from the ground up.

Branding and Identity.

Suna’s design and UX team sought to deliver an Identity to the Quick Ride app that would appeal to the auto dealership’s growing millennial customer base.

The team developed a logo and theme that would be easy to identify at any auto dealership.

Rider App Design and Development

Our design and UX team designed the auto customer experience with simplicity and speed at the forefront. Using well established UX patterns for driver apps set by Uber and Lyft, the team made the experience familiar, comfortable and safe. By removing the cognitive load associated with learning an entirely unfamiliar app, the rider could call a shuttle right away.

Dealer App Design and Development

Picking up and dropping off riders, traffic and other driver distractions necessitated an efficient UX for the driver app. A real time travel map view with a list of pickups and stops was kept to a single view to keep the driver focused and informed.

Both apps were developed using nativescript, a way to write cross platform, performant native apps. The ability to share code was essential to the engineering team with their requisite of developing two apps using many of the same APIs. This helped keep costs down yet sped up the development of both apps

dealership-desktop

Suna kept everyone at the dealership informed about the shuttles’ whereabouts through the “Command Center”. This was a view that showed all the dealerships’ shuttles and their progress relative to pick ups and drop offs. Suna had this view displayed on a wall via a custom display to keep the service managers and riders at the dealership informed about shuttle timing, hence eliminating the need for employees to scramble to find a shuttle.

API Work

The command center needed to display real time locations and timings for riders and dealers on a map. This required building a robust API. This API included backend to support thousands of potentially concurrent real time connections, all while keeping drivers, riders and dealers up to date.

The Suna engineers built an elastically scalable backend for Quick Ride using open source technologies like Redis, PostgreSQL and Java.  The backend API supported mobile website and administrative tools using REST APIs.  Real time location and event data was streamed to the backend from the clients via WebSockets, this data then multicasted to other connected clients to enable real time views of shuttle location and ride status. Suna engineers used their Amazon Web Services expertise to deploy the backend to Amazon’s Elastic Container Service using Docker images for maximum scalability and efficient use of resources, greatly reducing hosting costs while still delivering an enterprise-ready solution.

Outcome

Within 3 months of starting the project, the Suna engineering team completed the driver, passenger, dealership application, and admin tools. The new engineering solution allowed the sales team to roll out new clients in a matter of minutes, rather than weeks with the original solution. Quick Ride continues to pick up new dealerships weekly, and the backend scales automatically with use so client saves money during off-peak times.

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