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Overview of Carpooling System, Its Challenges and Benefits

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Carpooling first became prominent in the United States as a rationing tactic during World War II. The character of carpool travel has been shifting from ‘Dagwood Bumstead’ variety, in which each rider is picked up in sequence, to a ‘park and ride’ variety, where all the travelers meet at a common location. Recently, however, the Internet has facilitated growth for carpooling and the commute share mode has grown to 10.7% in 2005. In 2007 with the advent of smart phones and GPS, which became commercially available, John Zimmer and Logan Green, from Cornell University and University of California, Santa Barbara respectively, rediscovered and created carpooling system called Zimride, a precursor to Lyft. The popularity of the Internet and smart phones has greatly helped carpooling to expand, enabling people to offer and find rides thanks to easy-to-use and reliable online transport marketplaces.

In this section hybrid application development is discussed as the key research area and the concept behind the development of this particular carpooling application. In recent years, the hybrid mobile app approach has grown to be an emerging and promising alternative to the native app development approach. This approach allows developers to create a single mobile app, called a hybrid app, using web standards and to consistently distribute it across multiple mobile platforms with (minimal to) no changes. A hybrid app is essentially a small website written with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is different from normal websites in that it runs only in a browser shell and has access to the native platform layer. To run like a native app, it relies on a native wrapper like Cordova. Therefore, hybrid app is designed and coded like a website, but it is then wrapped with the capabilities to access native platform functionalities. The result is a powerful alternative approach to build mobile apps that are based on web technology but function and look like a native app. Therefore, the hybrid mobile app approach offers a mechanism to turn browser-based apps into mobile apps that could be compiled into binary executable files, could be downloaded from App stores onto users’ devices, and could be run both online and offline.

As more users use mobile devices, the demand for applications is not only on delivering web content but also on performing more advanced functions. This leads to the emergence of mobile apps. Based on a discussion with industry professionals, Agrawal and Gill (2013) suggested that there are-basically three major options available for the development of mobile apps. The first option is to use platform-specific developer tools to develop platform-specific applications. The second option is to create browser apps using HTML/jQuery and CSS. The last option is to use RAD tools to create hybrid apps with the characteristics of a web app and a native app.

With the first option, using platform-specific developer tools, the result is the delivery of native apps. Native apps are typically coded in compiled programming languages such as Java, Objective C, or C#. Native apps are often robust because they have access to device specific features. All native apps are obtained via app stores such as Apple App store, Google Play store. A native app Hybrid App Approach 54 is installed directly onto a device itself, is available locally, and hence can run without a connection to the network.

With the second option using HTML/jQuery and CSS, the result is the delivery of mobile web-browser app. Browser apps function essentially like websites designed with a user interface that is optimized for mobile devices. It is not device-dependent because it is typically coded using standards-based web browser technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP (Lutes, 2012) rather than compiled program languages. Although it works like a native app, a browser app does not need to be downloaded or installed on a device. The web browser on the mobile device invokes it through a designated URL. Hence, internet connection is required to run it.

The last option is the development of hybrid apps. This kind of app draws upon the characteristics of both a native app and a mobile web app. Like a mobile web app, it is written using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or PHP, but it is compiled into a native app for distribution via the vendor app stores. From a user’s point of view, there is little difference between a native app and a hybrid app. As long as the device has a web browser, a hybrid app can run just like a native app. From a developer’s point of view, a hybrid app is truly cross-platform.

There are many advantages of using the hybrid mobile app approach. Hybrid mobile apps allow developers to use standardized web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript codename one. In hybrid mobile apps, the developers also include the capability to deliver all service requests to the Platform API. This part requires the use of a hybrid development framework (e.g. Apache Cordova, ionic frame-work, etc.) to provide a native wrapper for containing the web-based code, and a generic JavaScript API to bridge all the service requests from the web-based code to the corresponding platform API. It is the native wrapper that enables hybrid mobile apps to be packaged, deployed, and distributed across platform.

Therefore, the hybrid app approach is not practical without the existence of the frameworks. Among the most important frameworks are those that embrace HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript be-because they allow developers to create cross platform hybrid mobile apps with native look and feel but do not require the use of Java and Objective C, or C#. This is the key factor to make the hybrid mobile app approach the fastest and easiest way to start building cross platform mobile apps using just the common web languages such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

In addition, these frameworks also enable the developers to maximize the impact of their coding effort by applying the concept of “Write once, run anywhere” (WORA). In simple terms, the developers could develop the app as a regular browser app with responsive features provided by the hybrid mobile app frameworks. The access to native hardware components like Camera or notification feature or local storage is accomplished by native JavaScript APIs. The app could then be compiled into platform specific native packages and is ready for use on a mobile device or for distribution on app stores. This is perhaps the strongest rea-son for the rapid growth in hybrid mobile apps in comparison to that in native apps.

The emergency of solid HTML5 mobile UI/UX frameworks is another driver for such a rapid adoption of the hybrid app approach. Among the top 10 HTML5 mobile UI/UX hybrid mobile app frameworks in the market today are Ionic, Onsen UI, Intel XDK, Sencha Touch, Kendo UI, Frame-work 7, jQuery Mobile suite, Mobile Angular UI, Famo.us, and Monaca. Since reviewing these frameworks is beyond the scope of this paper, we would like to focus our discussion mainly on the Ionic framework. The reason is because the Ionic framework is the most developed frame-work and we are familiar with it in the development of our hybrid mobile app for demonstration.

The fundamental premise in the hybrid mobile app framework, and why we chose to develop the carpooling app as a hybrid application is that almost everyone was, is, and will be spending his or her computing time in the browser. Browser exists not only on desktop, lap-top, but also increasingly on smartphone and tablet. The clear benefits of hybrid apps over native apps are the following: supporting cross-platform, writing code once and running them anywhere, and accessing to the 3rd party code.

As described in this paper, hybrid app development frameworks can be an alternative to the native approach and this is a remarkable turning point. With the success of hybrid frameworks such as Ionic, it may mark the end of native app domination and may trigger a rapid rise of hybrid apps. Because of its ease of use and its web-based advantages to work on cross platform, hybrid app development frameworks would likely pave its way to become a mainstream approach. More people would use it to create hybrid apps. With a global adoption of hybrid apps, it is likely to see a disruption in the mobile app development with the shifting from native to hybrid approach. Hybrid apps would be increasingly more powerful as web technology continues to advance. With more capabilities, hybrid apps would work just like the native apps and even better in some cases. As mobile de-vices have now become mobile work, learning and entertainment centers, more apps for cross plat-form will be in demand. Hybrid mobile app framework allows anyone including nontechnical students to learn, acquire, and develop necessary skills to meet the projected demand for the hybrid apps. For those with entrepreneurial spirit, the hybrid mobile app framework makes it viable for even non-technical developers to contribute and participate in the building of more innovative mobile apps. Over the past couple of years, there has been much progress in the app development platform and mobile app tools market. A few years ago, it would take a team of highly-skilled mobile developers and designers to create an app and quite often the app would be built from scratch in a sophisticated integrated development environment. However, at the present time, non-technical developers can access numerous of types of tools that enable them to create and launch apps faster than ever. Codename one is the case in point.

Most importantly, the hybrid mobile app development framework can now deliver cross platform apps that will enable developers to reach more users of any web-based mobile devices. While the advent of the hybrid mobile app framework opens a great opportunity for developers to design and build cross-platform apps, it also offers access for IT instructors to explore and teach advanced web design and hybrid mobile application development to non-technical students. In the past, the native app approach requires steep learning curves, demands high-level of technical skills in coding and highly technical knowledge in SDKs. As a result, most courses involved mobile app development have been offered in the computer science and engineering departments. However, the hybrid app approach reduces the learning curve and offers tools to bypass the need for coding and the use of SDKs. Therefore, it is possible to teach mobile app development using the hybrid app approach to non-technical students. The advance in hybrid framework in general and the growing acceptance of open source framework such as Ionic in particular helps open more doors for mobile app development to non-technical students.

I have chosen to create the mobile application using hybrid development as opposed to using a normal website that runs in a website for the following reasons. . Better Personalization is offered by mobile apps, Flexibility to view, send notifications, Making the most of the device’s built – in capabilities, Ability to work offline, Ability to create mobile – friendly user experience design, Ability of mobile apps to work faster than websites, Provides branding opportunity for apps.

With the increase of environmental concerns and the congestion of roads, carpooling has gained a lot of popularity when it comes to environment-friendly and cheap ways of travelling. Carpooling is when two or more persons share a ride in one of their personal cars. Carpooling reduces pollution since we have fewer cars on the road. It’s also economic since the travel expenses are shared among the riders. There is also serious problem of traffic on roads these days and the increasing fuel prices making the condition worst. Also use of vehicles causes pollution which has its adverse effects on our environment. Car sharing is a solution to this problem but issues like security and trust can arise. Solution to this problem is mobile based Carpool system. The Carpool system would enable its user a safe and secure way to share cars. This could include both short daily journeys such as going to workplace within the city and also long inter-city trips.

This proposed project carpooling system is a dynamic system which based on two underlying sources of information: which includes route Announcement by the user and route selection and registration by passengers. The user who is going to travel by his/her car will mention source and destination along with the route which is selected by him/her. He will also mention the capacity of vehicle. The user (passenger) who finds the path as per his request can register for the trip. Carpooling system has detailed phased registration system.

It is a great application and development to the modern world but it is faced with a few problems itself as an application and as a mode of transportation, some of the challenges faced in include:

Flexibility – Carpooling can struggle to be flexible enough to accommodate in route stops or changes to working times/patterns. One survey identified this as the most common reason for not carpooling.

Reliability – If a carpooling network lacks a ‘critical mass’ of participants, it may be difficult to find a match for certain trips. The parties may not necessarily follow through on the agreed-upon ride. Several internet carpooling marketplaces are addressing this concern by implementing online paid passenger reservation, billed even if passengers do not turn up.

Riding with strangers – Concerns over security have been an obstacle to sharing a vehicle with strangers, though in reality the risk of crime is small. One remedy used by internet carpooling schemes is reputation systems that flag problematic users and allow responsible users to build up trust capital, such systems greatly increase the value of the website for the user community.

Overall efficiency – Though carpooling is officially sanctioned by most governments, including construction of lanes specifically allocated for car-pooling, some doubts remain as to the overall efficacy of carpool lanes.

The project aims to solve the challenges and produce solutions to the current problems like the environmental problems and the and the migration from native to hybrid application which are easy to access acquire and use regardless of the level of know how in the IT Field, traffic congestions in our roads and most urban cities especially in Kenya and the rest of the world, this in turn points out the benefits and solutions that will be provided against other different apps the main one being cost, and this are:

Carpooling Helps save You Money:

You can save money on fuel and such by diving up the fuel prices among your carpool passengers. The more people you have, the more you can save. Carpooling application also helps you save on the cost of vehicle repairs and maintenance by rotating vehicle use among the members of your carpool team. Additionally, everyone else can save some money on road fees because with more carpooling there are fewer cars on the road and therefore less wear and damage to the roads that need to be repaired each year using taxpayer’s money. Carpooling Helps the Environment:

Carpooling lowers the number of cars and vehicles on the road. Fewer number of cars means there is less emission of co2 and other gasses that causes pollution. This prevents the environment by keeping the air, water, and land cleaner.

It is good for you: According:

To numerous health reports and research, air pollution caused can increase in the health issues such as asthma, allergies, lung cancer, etc. So, by using carpooling you can actually contribute to welfare of your society as well as to your environment.

Carpooling is a Very Convenient Option:

It is a way of sharing car that can give you great flexibility. If you want to carpool three days a week or five, you can do so. Whatever your needs are, you can look for people who need that same schedule or who can add you to their drive path on the days you need a ride. The flexibility makes it a very convenient option for any long commute.

It Helps You Make New Friends:

It is also a wonderful way to meet people, get to know the people you work with or go to school with, and to make new friends! Carpooling application helps to saves money and reduces congestion on our roads and highways. This application also gives you the opportunity to develop friendships with co-workers or other commuters. There are a number of benefits when two or more people share a ride in one vehicle.

There are apps that have been done before like Twende app aims to coordinate vast numbers of drivers to deliver a revamped service to citizens which is easy to use and pay for. Zimride is an American rideshare program that connects inter-city drivers and passengers through social networking. It is the largest rideshare program in the United States.

There is also uber it is a technology platform that connects driver and riders in cities where uber operates when an nearby driver accepts the a request the rider app shows the estimated time and cost, also unlike taxi service uber drivers do not possess special licenses you are required to 18 and over to have an account and use the service.

Those services and applications are commercially driven and contribute very little to our prime goal of reducing sequential effects of so many cars in our roads especially in big towns. In addition, most of these available applications they set the prices depending on circumstances, this opens a wide channel of user’s exploitation. Kenyan laws prohibit private cars from commercial and profit gaining business, in in this project, our prices are determined using AA Kenya’s recommended mileage costs per kilometer. Meaning you cannot charge more than the recommended price hence no chance of user’s exploitation by fluctuating prices.

It is clearly evident that narrowing down to the perfect approach – if native or hybrid, as well as the best tool to use for the development of a mobile application purely depends on the business requirement of the app. Carpooling in urban area is a third option that is more difficult to arrange but that has a big potential related to the fact that world’s population is increasingly city-based. According to the United Nations, approximately two thirds of the world’s population will be living in an urban area by 2050. Today, 64% of all travel made is within urban environments and the total amount of urban kilometers travelled is expected to triple by 2050. The basic idea is that carpooling might solve the “last mile” problem (the distance between a mass transit station and final destination). Carpooling and long-distance transport systems integrated in a multimodal network can provide the public with varied transportation options to fill the gaps in their travel journey. This indicates an opportunity for carpooling services and platforms.

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Overview of Carpooling System, Its Challenges and Benefits. (2020, October 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/overview-of-carpooling-system-its-challenges-and-benefits/
“Overview of Carpooling System, Its Challenges and Benefits.” GradesFixer, 31 Oct. 2020, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/overview-of-carpooling-system-its-challenges-and-benefits/
Overview of Carpooling System, Its Challenges and Benefits. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/overview-of-carpooling-system-its-challenges-and-benefits/> [Accessed 15 Aug. 2022].
Overview of Carpooling System, Its Challenges and Benefits [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Oct 31 [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/overview-of-carpooling-system-its-challenges-and-benefits/
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