After months of preparation, including a pre-hackathon workshop at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg last year, the SHOW project held a successful hackathon between 21-23 March 2022. The three-day event, supported by the Youth for Transport (Y4PT) was a hub of enthusiastic activity involving both lateral and vertical thinking by agile brains in Thessaloniki.

Calling bright minds

The purpose of the hackathon was simple: it was a call to bright minds “interested in exploring CCAM (Connected, Cooperative, Automated Mobility) and advancing automated mobility to create a more sustainable world” for the benefit of all citizens.

Young professionals and youth from around the world – especially those innovative and creative individuals willing to take up the challenge of getting the most out of limited resources – were welcome to attend along with members of the SHOW consortium and their partner companies. The applicants were required to demonstrate their creativity and commitment to sustainability by brainstorming solutions at the edge of innovation in the CCAM field.

Challenges for automated mobility

Multinational and multidisciplinary teams of developers, technology providers, etc. were invited to brainstorm and conceive innovative solutions to increase user acceptance and user benefit of automated mobility focussing on three problems that were inspired by the former Ideathon event held in early 2021 with end-users:

  1. Human assistance stand-by in case of problems (emergencies, security)
  2. Adapting/optimising capacity to handle demand in a flexible way
  3. Accessibility and assistance for persons with reduced mobility

‘Safety and security, demand optimisation and accessibility for people with disabilities are the three major challenges of shared automated mobility in Cities’, says Dr Maria Gkemou of CERTH-HIT, member of the Technical Management team of SHOW.

Innovative solutions for automated mobility

The three finalist teams took on the task enthusiastically to design and develop novel solutions and applications for each of the challenges:

  • Team 1 – Gustav: tackled the issue of making driverless automated vehicles safer and more secure for passengers and people on the road.
  • Team 2 – DeFORUS: worked on a project for adapting/optimising capacity to handle demand in a flexible way.
  • Team 3 – AsistIO: addressed the important issue of accessibility and assistance for persons with reduced mobility.

Experts from the SHOW consortium and the global Y4PT team were at hand throughout to guide and mentor the teams as they focussed on the objectives of the hackathon. The programme during the three days included preliminary pitching sessions, coding, checkpoints, final pitching, jury decisions and prize giving.

Tech experts from CERTH – Dr Antonios Lalas, Dr Konstantinos Votis and Mr Pavlos Spanidis – made up the panel of judges given the difficult task of ranking the high-quality results. Faced with a tough choice, the judges declared the Gustav and AsistlO teams to be joint first-place winners.

A win for all

The hackathon winners can look forward to the chance of winning additional prizes such as an invitation for one member to attend the Y4PT Global Hack 2023 in Barcelona, during the UITP Global Summit, or a student registration pass for 2023 ITS European Congress hosted by ERTICO.

‘The most important prize is the reward of being able to contribute towards tangible solutions for an issue that impacts the wider society. The hackathon is a great exercise in transforming disadvantages into an opportunity to learn, grow and inspire together’, says SHOW’s Dissemination Manager, Dr Nikolaos Tsampieris of ERTICO-ITS Europe. In this context, as highlighted by Dr Maria Gkemou, all SHOW mentors will follow up with the participating developers on their solutions, so they can be hosted in the project Marketplace (one-stop-shop of CCAM products).

Speaking about the significance of last week’s hackathon, Dr Henriette Cornet, SHOW Project Coordinator from UITP, says ‘This hackathon is an important element of the project to foster start-ups and initiatives that could deliver sustainable automated mobility solutions in the urban context for the benefit of all’.

The SHOW goes on

The winners will be interviewed and featured on the SHOW website in the coming weeks.

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