Need for an India-specific road-trip planner app

If I had the capability to develop this app/website on my own, I would do it.

BHPian tilt recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I wish there were an India-specific road-trip planning app that works on iOS also, not just android. It could use Google's map data and traffic info for routes maybe, or OpenStreet Maps or MapMyIndia or Apple Maps etc.

Yes, I know Google has Google MyMaps that helps planning road trips, but unfortunately, that does not serve any purpose because it lacks optimisation features and the interface (plus transferring routes and plans to others is very clunky).

Yes, I am aware that HVK has an android-based app for something like this, but not being on Android, I have no idea on what features and issues that app has.

Hence this post. This is what I would like to see (and I remember some websites many years ago that did this for Europe and North America):

  1. When I input origin and destination that would take, say three or four days to drive, I would like it to suggest night halt locations (city/town would suffice) based on speed limits/average driving speeds/known delays en route like for constructions etc. Google currently does not do that (and nor does Google MyMaps) - I have to estimate it myself by way of asking for suggestions here on TBHP.
  2. If my travel progress changes during my drive (say I am travelling faster or slower than Google's predictions), it should suggest a different night halt.
  3. It should take my inputs as to my preferred starting time every day and my preferred halting time or how many hours I wish to drive to suggest night-halts and break-times for stretching my legs.
  4. It should also suggest refuelling points based on the car's fuel economy and also based on how low on the fuel gauge I wish to go (say I might want to fill when it's 2/3rds empty) or decide for itself based on the availability of fuel stations. This is because even if I want to wait until I only have a quarter tank if there would be no fuel stations, it should recommend that I fill in when my tank is only half-empty.

Now for the nice-to-have features:

  • Points on the map for clean and comfortable (preferably western) toilets

If I had the capability to develop this app/website on my own, I would do it.


Here's what BHPian ampere had to say on the matter:

Today I think such an app would be available as a paid service. As the info in such apps cannot be static. So not sure how such details can be inculcated.

For the rest, we have our travel/routes forum for static planning!

PS: It's definitely a good idea for an app. But I think it's something which people would like to monetise on.

Here's what BHPian mayukh42 had to say on the matter:

These are really good ideas for Google to implement in their Maps. If they can suggest routes bypassing tolls, the above seems to be much simpler. In fact, in the details section of every route, they list out each point where to take a turn, so they do analyze the route and break it into points.

At every km of the route, they just need a spatial search for hotels and pitstops, give us a list, and we can select from there based on our progress/ rate them later. This is easily done in parallel, and they can leverage their cloud platform (a much better usage than Stadia)

I too looked for such an app some years back, but over the years have realized that there is no substitute for experience, because several requirements are too subjective for a formal definition before one can start developing it.

So I try to capture the highlights of every road trip or a long drive in a very simple events format in a Notes app - time, odo, pitstop duration. Then back home another 10-15 mins and they go into specific excel sheets - capturing the full car history.

An app which automatically captures the timestamp when entering a line item, using the location and odo (linked to the car's electronics), or just capturing the halts based on speed, then the user reviews the data, rates the pitstops, and uploads the data to Google Maps which then updates the locations can be an effective way to crowdsource it too.

Just thinking out loud. But thanks for bringing out this topic.

Here's what BHPian lsjey had to say on the matter:

Have you tried the MyMaps planning tool from Google? It is helpful for planning multi-day trips. Essentially it involves the following:

Helps to create layers to put in information on Google Maps. Layers can be created to store pins of places that you want to visit. You can add your photos and videos for the same. A separate layer for planning driving directions to any of the places you are interested in can also be done.

  • You can create a separate layer for drawing lines to mark out a shopping market path or a trail for trekking is possible. You can also create a box for marking out an area.
  • One can collaborate with others in developing the plan
  • You can create multiple day plans with as many layers. The max layers allowed as of now is 10.
  • You can pin up your hotel bookings as well. I'm not sure how integrated it is to hotel booking apps though. But all things Google are integrated.

I'm still learning the My Maps google tool. This tool is available only through PC. Here's the URL.

Please google around for tutorials on my maps from Google for more detailed information.

Here's what BHPian GeeTee TSI had to say on the matter:

Very relatable need, as I spend considerable time checking out Google Maps reviews on the condition of restrooms of Enroute restaurants. If travelling with parents this needs to be factored in. While Google Maps gives many options (sometimes too many), the dilemma is which one do I select to add to my destination

I had availed of HVK service years back during my first multi-state drive and I still find that (excel sheet) relevant as it is customised for your particular drive and schedule. I wouldn't mind paying for a service which gives information which I want it to be customised for my need (akin to getting tips from a known person who had taken that very trip). So far only Team-BHP has come close to meeting my need.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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