The enviroCar project allows users to collect and share their driving data via a mobile application and an ODB-II adapter. However, the collection of driving data using the mobile application for enviroCar requires a number of manual user interactions. This is unpleasant and tedious over the long run and poses a major obstacle for using the app regularly.
To tackle these problems, the enviroCar light project aims to enhance the usability of the enviroCar application by simplifying and automating the workflow of collecting driving data in order to achieve more regular user contribution. Things that might reduce user interactions to a minimum and which I am going to tackle within the project include:
- automatically detecting and connecting the ODB-II adapter,
- automatically starting the application once the device is connected/disconnected,
- automatic detection of possible start and end times of tracks,
- automatically finalizing and uploading a track once it’s finished.
In addition to these usability-related enhancements, another aim of the project is to update the enviroCar app to current standards of Android-related development paradigms. The use of the Android Development Toolkit (ADT) for Eclipse is quite outdated and a lot of new Android build and development features are not and may never be supported. The official android IDE Android Studio, however, has integrated many important and flexible technologies (e.g. Gradle-based build support, Lint tools for version compatibility, Android-specific refactorings, aar-package support) that greatly simplifies today’s development of Android applications. For this reason, one further task during the GSoC 2015 is to migrate to Android Studio and to update all required dependencies (e.g., removing the Actionbar Sherlock and integrating support packages instead).
I am a final year student studying both MSc Geoinformatics and Computer Science at the Westphalian Wilhelms-University of Münster. If you are interested in this project, you will find more information and its technical details on the official wiki page and in the upcoming blogposts.