ERA GLONASS Parking Lots

Customer

Satellite Soft Labs are experts in automating transport navigation and intelligent transport monitoring systems. Satellite Soft Labs develops and integrates a broad range of products for the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation.

Challenge

Satellite Soft Labs were commissioned to perform service works to develop a module as part of an extensive system called “ERA GLONASS.” The goal of the module is to monitor “rest time” that commercial and public sector drivers are required to take according to the Federal Law and to provide drivers with actual information about parking lots conditions nearby. Also, ERA allows specialized transport departments to control the load on the parking lots and coordinate drivers directing them to the closest available parking lots and spaces. ERA accumulates tons of traffic data subject to broad multidimensional analysis. The module includes a highly scalable server, database, web client and mobile application. The mobile application is intended to work as a communication tool drivers and the ERA system.

The Journey & The Discovery

Satellite Soft Labs required a sub-contractor who would design, develop and integrate the Android application with the ERA system. Satellite Soft Labs already had a positive track record working with GSPD on other joint projects, so they called us up and brought us onto the project. GSPD learned about all aspects of the project requirements after several meetings, after which we agreed on a budget and fixed timeline.

The Solution & The Implementation

GSPD quickly started working in parallel on the API specification for the Android app and UX design. Timely release of the API specification was important to enable Satellite’s back-end development team to develop API end-points for the app on time.

The UX design was our tool to confirm that all stakeholders had the same vision at the earliest stage of the project. We learned that specification text and verbal discussions are much weaker mediums versus a walk through of colorful visual designs. We quickly produced visuals that served as the best tool to detect possible miscommunication and eliminate “dark areas” often overlooked during verbal discussions. Once the API and UI designs were approved, we moved forward with the actual coding.

The Android application requirements included:

  • Search for nearest parking lots and show them on a map
  • Show the closest parking lots on the map in real time
  • Suggest the closest parking lot
  • Allow the driver to report they are taking rest
  • Signal the System when the vehicle parked and left the car park (i.e. identify the period of rest time taken)
  • Show statistics on the time periods when driver’s take the required rest time
  • Authenticate the driver and assign them to the vehicle they drive

We chose to use Java, Kotlin, Android SDK and OpenStreetMap for the project. Also, we faced the challenge of a delay in the integration and therefore had to cope with starting the mobile app development before deployment of the API. A clear API specification and use of mock-ups enabled us to implement the app before the API implementation. We were able to switch from the mock-ups to the real API server in a matter of two days.

The Results

We finished the complete Android application and implementation for Satellite Soft Labs on time and within budget. Satellite was able to meet their deployment commitments with ERA. Deployment of the mobile application linked commercial and public sector drivers to the ERA system providing them with actual information about the parking lots available, navigating drivers to the parking lots and provided drivers with a reporting tool to control their rest time compliance with Federal regulations.

“ERA GLONASS Parking Lots” was a great experience and nicely demonstrates our ability to work as an extended team.

The main activity of our company is developing a wide range of cross-industry and industry solutions for the transport telematics and satellite-based navigation market. We required a slick UI/UX for our web and mobile applications and outsourced the UX design and Android application development to GSPD. They have a great UI process to get it right and we were very fortunate to have worked with GSPD on multiple projects. We highly recommend them and they are our go-to developer for anything involving UI/UX and mobile development.

Andrey Motorzhin

‪CEO and Co-Founder Satellite Soft Labs, Inc
Saratov, Russia‬‬