A solution for kids’ transportation safety won the Media Lab hackathon

Published 19.03.2019
A total of 40 students and creative people attended the two-day hackathon where the goal was to create new and innovative solutions for the future of sustainable mobility.

- Absolutely fantastic to see the innovation and creativity from the different teams. This promises well for the future, said Håkon Pettersen, Deputy Mayor Finance in the city government of Bergen.

A hackathon is a frenzy of ideas, creativity, business model creation, coding and designing, this time set up by NCE Media, together with the Media Lab partners Sparebanken Vest, Bergen kommune, IBM and Deloitte Digital. Bergen kommune’s vast pool of open data was made available through the IBM Watson platform, and all participants had the option of utilizing the platform in the product or service they created during the hackathon. Participants also got access to sample code for Sparebanken Vest's Open Banking APIs for implementation of payment solutions. This enabled all teams to prototype, visualize, test or demo technical solutions, or to use available data or API's.

Håkon Pettersen from Bergen kommune and Åsne Ådland Dale from Sparebanken Vest, introducing the task of the day: Create a solution for the future of sustainable mobility.

The winning idea: Safer introduction to public transport for kids 
A team put together of students from HVL, NHH and UiB ran off with the first prize of kr. 30.000 plus an internship with Bergen kommune. Their solution gives the youngest travelers a safer and more confident ride on public transportation, reducing the need for private transportation for instance to different activities the child wants to attend after school. If deployed amongst 500.000 children between the ages of 5 and 15, millions of car trips will be saved every year. At the same time, the fun app makes the ride easy and safe for the child by preparing and notifying them to get ready to get off the bus or train. The app assists the child from A to B, reassures the parents and creates lifelong environmental habits for new generations.

The winning team consisted of Anil Ghimire (student HVL) Ingfrid Daland Næss (student UiB), Danijela Jecmenica (Designer) and Sherif Ahmed (student NHH). The team had never met before and was randomly assigned at the start of the hackathon.

- It was a great experience to meet so many people with expertise in different areas with new ideas and thoughts, working together for the better community tomorrow, said Anil Ghimire. Sherif Ahmed added:

- We did not know each other before, and each one had the chance to know people from different professional backgrounds. I believe that has enriched our team. We actually spent at least one third of the hackathon time in brainstorming and generating ideas. We had around eight ideas and narrowed them down to the winning one based on the competition's criteria.

Ingfrid Dalland Næss agreed and said that the hackathon was a great learning experience for her.

- It’s important to enter open minded. Ask questions, seize the opportunity.

Team 7's Ingfrid Daland Næss with the winning pitch.

The team decided to target the younger audience in their solution.

- Every other idea was targeting the adults, but if we really want to solve the problem for tomorrow then we had to think of different groups, the kids, Our future generation. Nothing is possible unless we direct them in good direction. Parents do not feel safe to let them use public transports, so they drive them using private vehicles to every place. Our idea to help young kids using public transport with parent being confident about the safety of their child will not only build young one’s trust with the public transport but also save lots of trips of private transports, Anil continued.

The winning teams: ​Team 7 (1st), Code Green(2nd), and Nexty(3rd) with their prizes after the 24 hour hackathon. Check out the hackathon recap here!

Each team did a five-minute pitch before the audience and a jury, consisting of Kjetil Århus (Bergen kommune), Kjetil Sørtun (Sparebanken Vest), Jon Osvald Harlia (Deloitte) and Rune Smistad (NCE Media). The judges were unanimous in their choice of the winner.

- We certainly believed in our idea, but we also saw that other teams had great ideas. It is a good feeling that those hours of hard work paid off at the end, said Sherif.

- I did not expect to win, especially since there were so many talented and clever people at the Hackathon, all forwarding great ideas, said Danijela Jecmenica.

Håkon Pettersen, Deputy Mayor, Finance, in the city government of Bergen, coaching one of the teams. 

Håkon Pettersen wishes for even more new and sustainable solutions for mobility within Bergen in the days to come.

- It is incredibly inspiring to see so many fantastic ideas be developed in such a short time. There is an impressive wealth of ideas with solutions within personal mobility, alternative services, use of data for new and existing mobility services and future urban logistics.

The NCE Media team would like to extend a huge thank you to Media Lab partners Deloitte Norge, IBM Nordic, Bergen kommune and Sparebanken Vest for their massive support with the hackathon. We can't wait to do this again next year!

More photos from the event: