Fall is the season for conferences, code camps, community events and, of course, hackathons. One of the biggest industry events is Super Mobility Week, powered by CTIA, where thousands of companies and tens of thousands of participants, including developers, come together to geek out on all things mobile. Part of this year’s event featured the Ford Developer Conference & App Pursuit Hackathon, a 12-hour overnight coding competition focused on creating new solutions for the automotive industry.
Our Concur team participated in the hackathon and built an integration with Ford APIs and AppLink to help business travelers capture mileage and car expenses while on the road. According to Concur’s ExpenseIQ Report 2013, “Personal Car” expenses average $123.09 per traveler requiring flights. We wanted to create an app that made it easier for customers to pull mileage right from their dashboard into Concur.
Welcome, “Trace” by Concur. “Trace” is built on the two key fundamentals: Simplicity and efficiency. To keep the interaction as minimalistic as possible, we added ‘smart’ functionality and thinking into this app. Here’s how it works: As soon as you sit in the car, the “Trace” app prompts you to log a business trip. If you confirm, ‘Yes,’ the app starts clocking the mileage from the odometer using Ford APIs. Once the car is turned off, this constitutes one trip and is recorded in a “Trace Trip Journal.” At the end of the day, the “Trace Trip Journal” is complete and the user is prompted to reconcile the day’s trips.
We also added a Tinder-like interface so users can swipe left on the specific trip entries to indicate a personal trip and right to indicate a business trip, in which case the mileage is tracked and automatically sent to Concur. Once the mileage is tracked in Concur, the app creates a quick expense entry based on the mileage reimbursement policy of the user’s company.
This is only the beginning. From here, we’d like to build out the app to add even more helpful functionality. For instance, using ODATA sets from cities to track toll roads and tolls bridges and adding these automatically as expense entries. We’d like to continue to make it smarter by analyzing user behavior and finding patterns to make the app smarter.“Trace” won the hackathon and is now a finalist for the Ford Developer Hackathon. As winners, we received a super-cool Ford Test Development Kit, a.k.a.‘Car-in-a-Box.’
We’re excited to be presenting this app (polished, of course!) at the LA Auto Car Show on November 20, 2014. If you’ll be there, don’t forget to stop by and say hello. And we’re looking forward to seeing you at The Perfect Trip DevCon 2014 on October 30, 2014.
The team busy hacking all night!
Mithun presenting the hack to the judges at the Ford Developer Conference & Hackathon.
The Concur team that brought home the prize, including Chong, Chris, Richard, Justin, Margret & Mithun.