From CS 160 User Interfaces Sp10
Tired of stopping to pay for the toll? Have multiple cars or drive rentals? A FasTrak or E-ZPass app for a smartphone would simplify frequent drivers' lives and also reduce congestion at busy toll stops.
Target User Group
The target user group consist of smartphone users who travel frequently in California (FasTrak) or the Northeast (E-ZPass). The application would be suited for Berkeley students traveling across the Bay Bridge or Golden Gate Bridge (local), residents traveling along express lanes on I-15 in San Diego as well as other toll roads (state), or interstate drivers whose jobs require travel from Illinois to Virginia to Maine (national).
The problem is that a specific user could be associated with multiple vehicle tags or even rental car tags. A separate commercial transponder must be provided for each vehicle. Instead of having to Velcro a special transponder to each car, the user can simply just turn on the application at a toll stop and drive right on through. (The application could also be running in background to avoid penalties of forgetting to turn it on) This way, each cell phone number or application ID would be associated with a user rather than what car the user is driving. A prepaid debit account that is associated with each transponder can simply be connect to the application, and each time the smartphone application passes underneath a toll collection site, the account is debited to pay for the toll.
Problem Context and Forces
When Andy decided to take his wife's car across the Bay Bridge, he forgot to get out the FasTrak transponder from the glove compartment of his car. At a peak hour, Andy ended up being stuck in a line of cars waiting to pay cash for the toll. On a business trip to SoCal, Andy's rental was also not stocked with a FasTrak component, he had to wait in line once again, this time in the notorious traffic in SoCal. Not only did Andy waste his own time on both occasions, he also contributed to the congestion at the toll areas.
This idea of a transponder application associated with the user as its sole owner and also the user's monetary account can be expanded in many other directions as well. For gated communities, just a confirmation of the transponder could open the gates without needing to enter a code or operating a remote. For parking areas, the gates could automatically scan the signal and debit the parking fee from the attached account. Just as FasTrak uses have been expanding with innovation, this application can evolve even further due to the integration with a smartphone that will always be with the user.
The application could have many additional helpful features, but most importantly need the on/off switch. There could be a link to the account associated with the application to show amount charged and amount remaining, there could be an interactive map that is linked to the map app already available to the smartphone, and finally there could also be additional menus at the bottom to really help the user with functionalities.
Do not own any Apple products, have an Android phone