Marquette’s LIMOs could soon offer a ride-sharing mobile app.
This mobile app allows students to request a LIMO based on their location, or reserve a LIMO by selecting one of the pre-defined stops. It was created by students in information technology professor Ivor Addo’s business applications development class. It can be used with Android and Apple iOS products.
“It was amazing to see the output of our students, particularly since the INTE 2051 (business applications development) class is more of an introduction to programming class for our IT majors,” Addo said. “In their first semester of learning how to program, they were able to quickly learn both C# and Xamarin (our cross platform development solution) and build a real-world native Mobile App.”
The class worked in teams to develop a product canvas, user stories and test cases to support the application idea. Four students then competed against one another to build the best LIMO app. After four weeks, they produced a working version and presented their work to a panel of IT faculty members and industry professionals. Zoha Khatoon won first place, Brady Gerndt was first runner up, Jiehui Huang was second runner up and Hanzhen Shi was third runner up.
“The experience of creating the app was simply amazing,” said Khatoon, a senior in the College of Business Administration. “It was very challenging at times. However, once the app was built and working, there was an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. Especially knowing that there is a need for such an app in the Marquette community and knowing that students may one day use this app is very rewarding.”
Addo said students can register for the app by using a valid Marquette email address, and then login and view a list of LIMOs near them.
To process the requests, the class built a web application prototype for dispatchers to approve the requests and assign a driver to the location. Once the request is processed, users will notice a different icon for the assigned vehicle. If the LIMO is no longer needed, students can cancel the request.
“Students pointed out that the university doesn’t currently have a mobile app for requesting LIMOs,” Addo said. “In the wake of mobile apps like Uber, Lyft and other rideshare request apps, this seemed like a reasonable challenge and a real world problem to solve. The idea is that perhaps, beyond Marquette DPS, other universities might be interested in utilizing a solution of this nature for their on-campus rideshare services.”
Although the application is currently unavailable, Addo said they are looking to work with the Department of Public Safety to examine the possibility of adopting this solution on campus and, if adopted, it will be published to the Android and iOS app stores.
This semester, the department of management/IT is holding a similar competition open to all students. Interested students need to submit a proposal for an innovative project by March 6.
“It was an exciting experience to work with some really bright MU students and harness the power of collective thinking,” Addo said. “I was pleasantly surprised by how sharp and hard working our students are. Our goal is to drive innovation among our students and also showcase the promise of our student’s ability to apply their newfound knowledge in business and technology to solve practical problems in the real-world.”