June 2018 marked the fifth edition of the AE Hackathon, which challenges customers and prospects to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product within 36 hours. This series puts each participating team in the spotlight.
Extensive vehicle fleet = extensive challenge
Companies with an extensive vehicle fleet traditionally hire a fleet owner to take care of the fleet’s daily management. From changing tires and maintenance to assisting drivers in case of damage, having a fleet manager is any company’s best way to ensure their fleet continues to perform efficiently and effectively. However, hiring a fleet owner is not without challenges - especially when a fleet continues to grow. As the distance between both parties increases, communications between drivers and the fleet manager may become compromised. What’s more, fleet owners can’t guarantee all required forms get filled out correctly.
The solution? A cross-platform app
Nowadays, there are countless technologies for gathering relevant data, from image recognition which allows drivers to easily report damage to their car to dongles that read vehicle data. Data which, moreover, can be enriched with API information as well as manually entered data. Bringing all these data together is where Team Car Trek comes in, their convenient cross-platform application ensuring both fleet managers and drivers to have access to the right data at all times.
An idea becomes a minimal viable product
To develop their Minimal Viable Product for the Hackathon, Team Car Trek focused on collaborating with one of our partners, Avola Decision. Striking a balance between acquiring new knowledge and delivering a concrete deliverable would be key. To make the 36-hour deadline even more challenging, the team had to become familiar with Flutter, a Google framework for developing multi-platform native apps. In addition, integrating the app with the Avola Decision platform was not a given either.
Win-win for fleet managers and drivers
Team Car Trek’s final result is an Electron web application that not only helps fleet managers to keep an overview of vehicle fleets, but also enables them to send targeted calls to action. That way, they can immediately send feedback in case of damage and clearly list the next steps the drivers should be taking. Thanks to the Avola Decision-Platform, fleet managers can also adapt the rules to their preferences. For drivers, the Flutter native smartphone app simplifies all communications related to their company car. On the one hand, drivers can easily consult their car's data as well as retrieve specific contact information including their insurance broker and designated tire centre. On the other hand, they can use the app to report damage and scan documents so that filing a claim with all the right data becomes a breeze.
So, what does the future hold? Car Trek hopes their application will eventually become the ultimate central entry point that enables all employees to facilitate their company car’s service package and to streamline communications with their fleet manager. More precisely, the app will allow drivers to verify the details of their car and lease contract, schedule appointments for maintenance and tire changes, and easily report damages. In turn, the app enables fleet managers to follow up more easily and initiate important communications towards drivers.
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