Smart Moves FLL
Starring: Kunal Desai, Srirang Subramanian, Shaival Divatia, Pranav Jain, Pranav Salunke
The Thunderbots Team
This year we graduated to middle school that was 10 times as far as our elementary school. In our old school we could walk and avoid traffic. In our new school we must drive and face the traffic.
Waiting in traffic congestion made us late for school and its frustrating.
But what causes traffic congestion?
Reasons for Traffic Congestions
BottlenecksTraffic IncidentsWork ZonesBad WeatherPoor Signal Timings
• What causes most bottlenecks?
• Too many cars on the street• We researched and found:
Total 3,306,051 100%Car, Truck, or Van 2,674,595 80.9%-Drove Alone 2,248,095 68%-Carpool 426,500 12.9%Public Transportation 321,053 9.7%
-Bus or Trolley Bus 178,913 5.4%-Street Car or Trolley car 14,260 0.4%
-Subway or elevated 98,717 3%-Railroad 20,087 0.6%-Ferryboat 5,772 0.2%-Taxicab 3,304 0.1%Motorcycle 11,885 0.4%Bicycle 36,003 1.1%Walked 106,063 3.2%Other Means 23,717 0.7%Worked at home 132,735 4%
• As you can see in bay area (our community) cars are the top reason for our traffic problem.
• On our way to school we also observed that most of the drivers in the car were driving alone.
• Hmmmm… that made us wonder what is the typical car occupancy
• We researched and found out that the average number of people in a car is 1.306 This is way too little.
• If more people went in one car there would be less cars on the road. That is less bottlenecks and traffic congestions.
• Isn’t that carpooling?• Yes!!• But why don’t people carpool right now?• We interviewed many adults and found out
convenience was the main reason they did not carpool.
• What is convenience?• Convenience is being able to get a ride when you
need it.• Who can give you a ride when you need it?• Maybe some friend• So to get a ride you need to ask all your friends• I have many friends, I don’t think calling all of them
is very convenient…..some of them may not even be nearby
Solution Introduction• Well most of the times there are many cars on the road.
Don’t you wish one of them is your friend passing by and could pick you up?
• Wouldn’t it be great if they also knew that I want to be picked up and can just swing by without much of a detour.
• This is after some route matching tool allowed you to match your route with theirs and only ask those if they could pick you up? That without having to make even one call…..
• Well then it has to be something online…..like a web page that all can see…..
Carpool Central A website where everyone connects
a Carpool CentralWhat else would you like to do on this ‘Carpool Central’ to get a
1. Well I should be able communicate via text message, email, or IM with all at the same time...
2. Quickly know if they can pick me up. Something like a simple Yes/No will do
3. Letting them know where I am and where I want to go4. And this I should be able to do will all at the same time
Sounds like you need the Google Wave?
Google Wave• Google Wave is an online tool that allows you to post any kind of messages and
invite your contacts to view it. 1. This can be a simple text, email, IM or all of them together2. Ask/take a poll like, who can pick me at 6.15 pm3. You can even share your location and route on a google map4. And this you can do with everyone you invite to your Wave• WAVE!!!!!!!!• Yes it’s the new way of communication from Google…• Maybe we can talk to Google Wave engineers and find out if they can create
our Carpool Central• Guess what, that is what we did.• They were very pleased with our idea.• They also gave us some practical tips• We learned that the carpool central idea can only work if we had enough people
wanting to carpool and one carpools only with those ones trusts.
• After coming home, we thought about this:• I can only trust those who I know, and I don’t
know many people to make Carpool Central work
• How about companies use ‘Carpool Central’? Companies have lots of people working at a location and most of them know each other so hopefully they even trust each other.
• Also our research found out that most commuting happens between work and home
• So if companies can promote carpooling that would have the biggest impact on Traffic
• How can they in this economy?• Even if we have all these tools that make it more
convenient to do carpool communication, how can they motivate their employees to carpool without having to reward them with money
Coupons• How about if you can exchange ride for a ride. That would be a fair exchange.• How would you do that?• Coupons.• Coupons are a type of bartering system.• If you give someone a ride to work then that person would give you a coupon.• Later you can use the same coupon to get a ride from him or any other person• Since all have the same number of coupons to start with they all have a equal
chance of taking and giving a ride• But soon some people will carpool more than others and they will need more
coupons• That will create a demand for these coupons and thus create value for these
coupons. Maybe some will actually trade real money for these coupons• That can be a powerful incentive for all to carpool.
• We shared our idea to a company called 511.org• 511.org is a government agency that promotes
carpooling among other things• They were very impressed with our solution. • They shared they also have something similar to
our ‘Carpool Central’ but not as effective. • And they loved our coupon idea• They will help us promote this to other companies