The CartonCloud mobile apps allow drivers to contact customers by call or text message (assuming a telephone number has been provided for the customer's address via the web app). One of the contact options is an ETA text message. While the standard text message option will have an empty body, an ETA text message is pre-filled with various information about the consignment as well as an estimated arrival time.
Sending an ETA text message
To send a text message containing consignment information and an estimated time of arrival, proceed to the relevant consignment's detail view within the app. There, given a telephone number has been provided for the address and the mobile device allows phone calls or text messages, you will find a contact button next to the address header. On selecting this button, various options are presented: call, text, text ETA. Choose the ETA option, wait while the estimated time of arrival is being calculated and then find yourself in the device's message sending app. There you will notice that both the telephone number and the text message body have been pre-filled for you.
If the ETA text button is disabled, please see "When ETA text messages are not available" below for more info on why this can happen.
The pre-filled text varies based on the type of consignment but will always include the tenant information (in this case "CartonCloud Demo"), the consignment client name ("Chips Caffeine World") and the consignment reference ("Ref").
When ETA text messages are not available
Under certain circumstances, the ETA text message button may be disabled. This is the case if any of the following situations apply:
- No Internet: an Internet connection is required for the calculation of an estimated time of arrival.
- No Geo Location: if the customer's address does not have a valid geo location associated with it, an estimated time of arrival cannot be calculated.
- No Current Location: if access to the mobile device's location has been previously denied or not yet granted, an estimated time of arrival cannot be calculated.
Within the mobile apps, the appropriate explanation for the disabling of the button will be given when attempting to contact a customer.
How the ETA is calculated
The estimated time of arrival is calculated based on the coordinates of two locations:
- Start location: Current location of device
- End location: Geo location associated to the selected address
CartonCloud sends both of these addresses (as coordinates) in a request to the Google Distance Matrix API, which will then return a response containing the estimated travel time. Google calculates the travel time using a "Best Guess", based on both historical traffic conditions and live traffic. The travel mode is always presumed to be "driving" with the departure time set to the current time.
For more information on how the Google Distance Matrix API works, check out this link: https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/distance-matrix/intro