Commute with Enterprise — Car Rental App Development

An easy-to-use car-rental service for coworkers, students, friends, and other groups of people to share everyday commutes.

Challenge

The startup behind the Commute with Enterprise app was looking for a development team familiar with advanced mapping technologies, route building, and payment processing integration. Since we had a successful experience in outsourced app development and delivered a few similar applications for rental and navigation services as well as for the banking sector, we could provide the necessary level of qualification and expertise to the client. That was the reason they chose MBicycle’s team for the project.

The task for our team was to develop an Android application for a car-sharing service where people could form groups travelling via the same route, for example, to work, to share one car per ride and split the payments for the rides equally. Each group was also to feature assigned roles: the driver, commuters (passengers), and the coordinator (the group manager). The size of the group could range from 4 to 15 people depending on a rented car type.

Solution

As the client had already developed a proprietary backend adjusted specifically to their car-sharing service, our mission was to create an Android application that would seamlessly interact with the backend web panel.

We got the initial codebase with some basic functionality from the client, extended the application with additional features, improved its functionality, and ensured stable, error-free operation.

To accomplish the task, the MBicycle team performed the following:

  1. We modified the ride management functionality (setup and configuration of rides, reservation of days, etc.). When the coordinator creates a daily ride event, those commuters who need to travel via that route just tick their time of travel and leave the waypoints to their location. Based on this data, the coordinator approves the route and the driver picks up commuters and takes them to their destinations.
  2. We implemented payment processing so that each commuter could add their card and pay for the rides (created by the group coordinator). Every group member then receives an invoice at the end of the month, based on how much they travelled each day. The data for invoicing and billing is provided by route coordinators.
  3. We also implemented the chat functionality. Using the in-app chat, the driver and the coordinator of each group could communicate with the car rental provider if something happened to the vehicle during the rental period.

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Process

There were project managers, web developers, and QA engineers on the client’s side, and Android developers on MBicycle’s side. We used the Scrum development methodology, and it took us three months to deliver an Android solution for the client.

We developed ride events using the Android SDK, as well as integrated the backend through creating screens, writing business logic, and enabling request exchange with the backend via Retrofit. The payments module was set on top of this pre-developed backend with corresponding libraries and settings in place, to operate by sending requests.

We added a data encryption layer with Microsoft Azure for secure interaction with the backend, including payment processing.

The chats for communicating with car rental providers were implemented using the Urgent.ly framework. Each time, user roles are checked to determine if they are authorized for accessing a specific chat or not, and in case the user role is not appropriate, the user is denied access.

Technologies & Tools

Programming language
Kotlin

Architecture
MVP

Data management
Microsoft Azure

Third-party library APIs
Retrofit, RxJava, Android SDK

Results

As a result of the car rental mobile app development, we provided the client with a turnkey solution for car sharing by groups of people (students, coworkers, friends, and neighbors) with monthly payments and role distribution in such groups.

Thanks to the fast-paced performance and technical decisions of MBicycle’s Android developers, the startup got an efficient and powerful Android application, which was successfully deployed to production and is now available on Google Play.