A Mobile App for Renting Electric Scooters with 170,000 Active Users
A transportation robotics company turned to Altoros to develop a mobile app for ride rentals featuring its electric scooters.
Brief results of the collaboration:
- The customer developed a mobile app that enables almost 170,000 users to rent scooters in over 12 cities across the United States and Europe.
- With the display of geofenced zones in real time, the company safeguarded users from entering restricted areas or riding at full capacity in low-speed areas. By notifying users about slowing down or disabling the vehicle, the organization also minimized the risk of an accident when approaching such zones.
- With an in-app wallet that requires replenishment, the customer prevented users with insufficient funds on a bank account from cheating and renting a scooter.
Based in the USA, the customer is a transportation robotics company focusing on technology-driven development for micro-mobility vehicles. With 30 patents, the company’s flagship invention is a system for scooter fleets. In 2020, the startup raised $60 million of investment.
Under the hood, the platform allowed for detecting 100+ malfunctions: break failures, short circuits, faulty batteries, etc. After the system identified an issue, it would take an appropriate action—e.g., stop the vehicle or block an attempt to rent it—to prevent damage during and between the rides. Originally, the company’s fleet of scooters was available for rental at the campus of the globally recognized tech university. However, the customer had an ambition to deliver its services across the USA, as well as enter the European market. Partnering with Altoros, the organization wanted to develop mobile apps for iOS and Android that would enable users to rent a scooter in 12 cities around the world the service was present.
Under the project, the team at Altoros had to address the following issues:
- Cities have geofenced zones—low-speed or restricted areas—that impose certain limitations on vehicle movement. In the cities where the service operated, the number of such zones varied from 10 to 400. It was crucial for the mobile app to identify such zones in real time to prevent any accidents as the scooter would slow down or would be disabled upon approaching a geofence.
- As the service relied on a third-party billing system, sometimes, it took almost 3 minutes to process the payment. As a result, users could not start the ride until the procedure is completed.
- The verification of a bank balance and charging the fee was also a responsibility of the third-party billing system. This left the service vulnerable to allowing a vehicle rental to users with insufficient funds.
Engineers at Altoros delivered an app for Android and iOS that enables users of legal age to rent a scooter. To verify users’ age, our developers integrated Jumio to scan a driver’s license. No personal information is stored to protect user privacy. As the registration into the app required only a phone number, the team at Altoros implemented single-use codes to serve as passwords. This added to overall security of the app. Based on the data received from the customer’s platform, the app would notify a user that a scooter is out of order before the trip and would not display it on the in-app map.
After ensuring the app recognized the geofenced zones, our engineers optimized the way they were loaded on the map to reduce response time and minimize performance issues. So, developers at Altoros made the app prioritize the zones based on a user location instead of loading all such areas in the city simultaneously. This allowed to display zones to a user on an in-app map in less than a second and detail the reason for slowing down the scooter or stopping the ride.
To enable payments, the team integrated the Stripe billing system. To minimize the waiting time to unlock the scooters, engineers at Altoros modified the payment process by pushing verification to the background. This way, users can access and ride the scooters while payments are validated, reducing the maximum wait time from 3 minutes to 50 seconds.
Finally, our developers built an in-app wallet requiring a user with insufficient balance of a bank account to make a replenishment. This prevented users from cheating while attempting to rent a scooter.
active Android users
Partnering with Altoros, the customer developed a mobile app that enables scooter rental for almost 170,000 users in 12 cities across the globe. By enabling the display of geofenced zones in real time, the company prevented users from entering restricted areas or riding at full capacity in low-speed areas. With an in-app wallet, the customer ensured only users with sufficient funds were able to rent their scooters.
After field-testing its service in the USA and Europe, the customer is planning to expand to the Asian market.
Frameworks and tools
AAC, Firebase Cloud Messaging, Jumio, Stripe, Retrofit, Room, Coroutines, ZXingScannerView, Google Maps, Apple Maps