The idea for Bidcab came from a leading cab leasing company in New York City, which leases vehicles to hundreds of cab drivers on a daily basis. Formerly, when a driver wanted to begin a shift, they would physically go to the leasing lot, select a vehicle from what was available, then check out. This often left too much availability during the less popular driving times and often too little availability during high traffic times. The objective of Bidcab was to give registered cab drivers the ability to see what vehicles were available for upcoming shifts, to book a vehicle by its year, make, and model for a single shift or multiple shifts, and to allow the leasing company to incentivize drivers during slower driving periods by offering reduced rates through the application.
- The functional requirements of the project included:
- To develop a web-based administrative portal with a mobile app component for its users.
- Web portal would allow Bidcab admins to approve or deny driver applications, manage drivers, add or deactivate available vehicles, add upcoming shifts per vehicle, and approve or deny vehicle shift requests from drivers.
- The mobile application would allow drivers to request available shifts and vehicles.
- A messaging & alert system would allow admins to send push notifications to all active drivers or to any drivers without a current or upcoming shift scheduled to broadcast specials or discounts.
- Bidcab web portal would push driver data to the leasing company’s 3rd party cashiering and driver management software once activated to verify the driver’s registration information including license and hack numbers.
- Bidcab web portal would push booking information to the leasing company’s 3rd party cashiering and driver management software once a driver’s requested shift and vehicle are approved within Bidcab.
- Bidcab web portal would pull data from the leasing company’s 3rd party cashiering and driver management software to mark shifts within Bidcab as ‘in use’ ‘cancelled’ or ‘completed’ as vehicles are checked in and out of the lot.
- The Discovery Phase of Bidcab included:
- Analysing all existing processes and systems used.
- Simplifying application user flows.
- The Development Phase of Bidcab included:
- Major milestones and iterative testing for the admin platform (web based), iOS and Android components, and for the development of the API, endpoints, and functions to share data with the leasing company’s 3rd party cashiering and driver management software.
- The Deployment Phase of Bidcab included:
- User Acceptance Testing utilizing Apple Developer’s TestFlight and Google Play Alpha Testing.
- A soft launch and several weeks of beta testing with a group of drivers.
- End-to-end system integration testing with the 3rd party cashiering and driver management software.
- Training with internal administrators to manage all drivers, available vehicles, and reservations though the new system
- Backend: Django, Python
- Cloud Platform: Heroku
- Tools: Visual Studio Code, Git/GitHub, Postico, Insomnia, Test Flight
- Bidcab is currently used by hundreds of New York City cab drivers on a daily basis to pre-book shifts and vehicles.
Future/ Current Relationship
- Since the initial launch of Bidcab in 2018, BuildThis has provided its ongoing hosting, maintenance, and support services for both the web and mobile applications.
- BuildThis has been contracted by the client to develop several enhancements, including integration with the leasing company’s 3rd party cashiering and driver management software.
- The owners of Bidcab are currently working on a strategy to package and sell the Bidcab platform and its 3rd party integrations to other cab leasing companies.