RAA was founded in 1903 and more than half of South Australia’s drivers are Members. They offer many benefits to members including Road Service with Patrols responding to over 600,000 call-outs each year.
RAA prides itself on providing high quality Road Service in a timely manner. When technology got in the way, rather than facilitating this core offering, RAA knew it was time to act.
The previous mobile communication system was at the end of its useful life, putting RAA’s service availability and quality at risk. Moreover, the previous vendors no longer supported the solution.
RAA called on Enabled to conduct a thorough systems and process analysis. A technology upgrade across various platforms and systems is a long-term project.
With that in mind, we proposed a solution that would help a smooth rollout while gradually replacing the existing legacy system. At the time, the Panasonic Toughpad was identified as the most appropriate device as it could withstand significant heat and rough treatment expected in the environment of a Road Service vehicle.
Early blueprint of DiscoVan Android app
Customised touch screen devices in their Road Service vans interfaced with their dispatching system via a proprietary messaging protocol.
We reverse engineered the poorly documented protocol and created a web-service for passing these messages to a custom built Android app codenamed DiscoVan, installed on the new tough tablets.
Road Service drivers used this Android Tablet App to receive job dispatch information and report back the status of their job.
Enabled made sure this critical system could function during or recover from communication failure. We also developed a smaller version of DiscoVan, adding convenience to contract workers in regional areas.
Moving from a small screen to a larger 10-inch, touch-sensitive screen gave patrol drivers a much better user experience. Enabled’s more current understanding of how people engage with touchscreens also provided numerous improvements to the workflow design, reducing the time to conduct many activities.
Also, as Road Service drivers could use the app on their own mobile phones, RAA’s system could be freed up.
The DiscoVan app aligned directly with RAA’s core value proposition, ensuring its continuing service reliability, quality, and safety. The mobility solution alleviated technological risk and offered a foundation for a full technology upgrade later on.
Our Test Driven Development practices let us create an app that had a very low defect rate, with only a handful of issues reported within the 3-year lifetime of the application.