The HREF returned from /v1/requests//map endpoint when communicating with the Sandbox is not a valid URL. For an example of what a map will look like in production, you can see an example here: https://trip.uber.com/-y-HO3YzT (this is for a completed test trip).
Apologies that the `/map` endpoint is not behaving the way you anticipated. You are correct that to be able to present the best hackathon demo, the application should be set to use the production environment. When you say you haven't planned on doing this, is there a specific reason why? The change in your application should be straightforward.
Mostly because of testing. Good testing takes some time and money since I need to make real requests. So I planned to simulate behavior on application side using sandbox endpoints. Like const 5 sec to find a car, 10 s to arrive to pick up and so on.