Build ideas: Automated carpool and traffic alerts

Difficulty Level:


Build Time:

Beginner: 1-2 hrs
Experienced: 20 min

Build List:

Mojio (could replace with competing OBD device)
Slack API (could replace with SMS, Email, etc.)
Google Maps API (could replace with competing traffic app)

Want to see what you can build with the nio Platform?

What did you make using nio?

What do two niolabs employees that carpool everyday do with nio? Nio-fy their carpool of course. Graven mooches a ride from Blake everyday, so before nio that meant a “omw” text from Blake as he left his apartment--how annoying. We built two services to start our connected carpool: 1) a GPS-driven Slack message telling Graven when Blake is about to arrive 2) an automated traffic report delivered to the co-pilot from Google Maps.

Blake and Graven Solving their carpool problems using the nio platform

Why would you use nio to create this project?

For this particular project, we wanted to quickly solve a problem that uses multiple, disparate sources to automate certain aspects of our lives in real time. Apologies for all of the buzzwords, but this is exactly what the nio platform is great for. Instead of each of these sources operating in their own individual silos, we were able to use nio as the broker to bring them all together, apply logic that made sense for us, and then act upon those data streams as their happening. The best part is that a couple of nio noobs (us) were able to get the initial working prototype up in about an hour. One more hour to perfect, and we had built exactly what we wanted!

TrafficChecks Service

CarLocation Service

Instance Level

Any gotcha’s that you ran into while creating this project?

We had a couple things trip us up that are probably worth mentioning…

1. We reached our API call limit with the Mojio API

Short-Term Solution: Limited our calls with the trade-off of less granularity.
Long-Term Solution: Utilize Mojio’s new Push API functionality

2. We needed some technical help with the Google Maps API

Solution: Googled a few basics (Thanks, StackOverflow!) then asked a niolabs engineer for about 15 minutes of help (Thanks, Kevin!) to properly parse the JSON

What are you going to do next?

  • Use trip data to automatically track and bill rider for monthly gas and toll costs
  • Track commute time history & trends
  • Add additional message information, such as weather, calendar, etc.
  • Integrate Amazon Alexa & Google Home to replace or supplement Slack
  • Send driver Slack reminders for oil change every 3,000 miles

Have questions on how to build it? Watch the step by step tutorial below:

Step by step tutorial

Don't know what to do next or need to troubleshoot? Follow along with Blake as he walks you through his entire process.