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International pitching competition Youth for Public Transportation (Y4PT) Hackathon concluded its Cape Town event on 6 March. It focuses on mobility and takes place in 20 major cities around the world.
Y4PT was held in partnership with WhereIsMyTransport, the Bandwidth Barn, KAT-O, and Women in Tech.
“This hackathon was our first to showcase what can be done with integrated transport data, and the power of an open platform,” said the co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport, Devin de Vries, in a press release to Ventureburn.
Teams could compete in four categories which included Integrated Mobility, Healthy Mobility, Inclusive Mobility and Future Mobility. The winners from various countries will compete in the finals in Canada sometime this year.
The grand prize winner, as well as the winner of the Future Mobility Catagory, was FindMyTaxi. This startup aims to innovate the minibus taxi industry by making off-peak operations more efficient by connecting drivers and passengers. FindMyTaxi essentially feeds route information among others to both the taxi driver and the passenger through chatbot systems.
The Y4PT Hackathon challenge aims to brng together the brightest SMEs in transport to tackle the industry’s issues
“I’ve been dreaming of this day, and this hackathon, for a long time. When I moved to Cape Town, I gave up my car. I wanted to be able to live without it. I’m so glad that we’ve had the opportunity to create something that can help others do the same,” said FindMyTaxi’s Emma Phiri.
Phiri and the rest of the FindMyTaxi team are headed to the finals in Canada.
The winning teams in each category are as follows:
- Integrated Mobility (Team Mobz) — Was created by Christiaan van Zyl, Nick Talbot, Senka Hadzic, and Grant Stephens. Team Mobz brings together large groups of friends and travellers, generating diverse journeys for those meeting up at a specific location. Users can also choose trips which gradually add more people to their group along the way as well as other social travel patterns. The app can also be used to coordinate mass journeys to public events allowing those using the same modes of transportation to travel together.
- Health/Inclusive Mobility (GoWell) — Was founded by Kat Townsend, Delena Malan, Chante Van Der Walt, Julia Ranzani, and Chelsea Lewis. GoWell aims to empower public transport users to be more vigilant. It gives users the ability to report any theft and other crimes committed while on public transport services anonymously. The team at GoWell also hope to present their collated data to public safety managers to create better public safety strategies.
- Implementation Readiness Prize (Rydr) — Was created by Miki von Ketelhodt and Nadim Rifai. Rydr aims to connect users on public transport by allowing them to find nearby users of the app that happen to be travelling in the same direction.
- Best Design Prize (Whizzherd) — Was founded by Jurgen Goldschmidt. Whizzherd uses GPS-enabled phones to provide real-time information and tips regarding crowded vehicles or malfunctioning train doors to everyone using the service.
All category winners won an online course to any tech topics of their choice which includes machine learning in Python, Ruby, Java, Scala and many others. The best Design and Implementation team members all won free games at HintHunt while the Implementation Readiness team also won free space at The Basement for a month.
Featured image: Jsok Yang via Flickr