Source: AutoTech Columbus Facebook
One of our data scientists participated in a Smart City Hackathon over the weekend. The hackathon's purpose was to begin engaging with the local startup community and empower developers to solve smart city problems like reducing single occupancy vehicles and making innovation accessible to all city residents.
Read Ryan's musings about his smart city hack below.
This weekend I participated in the Smart City Hackathon. My team's idea was to create an app that would optimally route Columbus commuters around the city. The Get Me There app allows users to reserve parking spaces, recommends when a user needs to leave to reach their destination on time, and allows users to prepay for transportation and parking services. Get Me There would allow integrations with rideshare apps, Waze, Google Maps, public transportation, and parking lots in order to always provide the cheapest, fastest routes.
As a part of the hackathon, we were encouraged to think BIG, imagining a futuristic Columbus that would have the infrastructure in place to make this a reality. In order for our idea to come to fruition, sensors or cameras would need to be incorporated into parking spots throughout the city.
As a part of the hackathon, we were encouraged to think BIG, imagining a futuristic Columbus that would have the infrastructure in place to make this a reality.
We also wanted to ensure that our idea was inclusive for all Columbus residents and visitors by providing kiosks throughout the city for those who aren't readily able to use the app. Additionally, users would be able to pay ahead of time at these kiosks without needing a credit card or bank account.
It was encouraging to see so many brainiacs give up their weekends to brainstorm some of Columbus' most complicated current and future issues. Other participant ideas included:
- Flockx, who wants to use machine learning to help residents carpool to work by clustering residents by work and home location. They're looking to provide creative solutions for people to leave work for emergencies if they didn't drive to work that day.
- Bonsai had a creative solution for visualizing state-wide budget data using VR technology. They created a virtual forest where every tree represented a year of the state's budget, and every branch of every tree represented individual expenses. Who knew you could make budgeting so much fun?
I'm definitely looking forward to continue working on my team's idea and watching my new hackathon friends continue refining their projects in the years to come!