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George Washington app set for new features

Andrew Hudson   ||   Sep 04, 2015  ||   

George Washington University's student association is planning to create a new iteration of the university's existing 4-RIDE service that will be integrated into the university's official app.

Per a report from The GW Hatchet, the new 4-RIDE app will enable students to track the location of their vehicle, similar to the car service app Uber. The changes to the GW app have already been sent to university officials and are pending finalization.

George Washington's 4Ride service provides campus community members with a safe ride to and from locations on and around the Foggy Bottom Campus. The service operates daily from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Students can currently request the service in one of two ways: through a quick link on the university's MyGW portal, or by calling the service's dedicated phone line.

The MyGW Portal option allows students to schedule one ride at a time, up to two hours in advance. When a van is assigned to a student's request, the online system will show where the van is located in relation to the student's location on a map, and will send a text message when a van is close. The new app would integrate this service onto the campus' smartphone app.

An assistant computer science professor at the university, along with George Washington students, have helped to create the apps in the past, and recruit students to help create the software. The 4-RIDE app will be one of a group of projects that seniors in the professor's class can choose as a focus for a senior design project. The 4-RIDE app could become a prototype to bring to administrators later this year, or a project that a senior takes on after graduation to fully implement on campus.

Other changes have been to the university's official app during the summer that focus on the 4-RIDE feature. Students can now receive a text message when their 4-RIDE has arrived to pick them, rather than the previous notification when a ride was on is on its way. Students can also track the location of their 4-RIDE on a campus map.

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