Students in Virtual Reality Lab develop Shuttle Bus app

ShuttleTrackerA new mobile application designed to help Wichita State University students and visitors connect with the WSU Shuttle System is now available for Apple and Android phones and tablets.

The Shocker Shuttle Tracker app is a free downloadable application that uses GPS to track WSU’s buses and let users know when and where they will arrive next.

The app, which became available last week, already has more than 100 downloads each on Google Play and iTunes and an average rating of 5.0 on Google Play. Features of the app include a map for each bus route that provides real-time information on bus location and estimated time of arrival and photos of each bus stop.

WSU student Austin Crane, sophomore in computer science, is credited with the idea for the app.

“I took the bus a lot last year and was late to class sometimes because I would get to the stop right after a bus had left,” said Crane.

He thought if he was experiencing this problem, there were probably other students who were as well, so he took the idea to his boss, Brian Brown, associate director of NIAR’s CAD/CAM Lab. Brown, who is always looking for ways to encourage student ideas and creativity, loved the idea.

“I thought it was something that the university needed and the team here could figure out,” said Brown.

The project was led by Jeff Fisher, research associate for the NIAR’s CAD/CAM Lab and a team of four students: Crane; Eric Corey, junior in computer engineering; Dominic Greene, senior in graphic design; and Alex Truong, senior in computer engineering and computer science.

Fisher said development of the app took longer than they expected (around 1,400 hours) because of the large learning curve associated with developing their first mobile app, but they have additional projects planned for the future including apps for assistance with parking and wayfinding on campus.

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