The ShiftSaigon Hackathon by the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) brought together local developers, transport planners, researchers and data scientists to create solutions for real-world mobility challenges in the Vietnam city of Saigon. The 31 participants formed into six teams and used Saigon's bus and river taxi data from WhereIsMyTransport's open data platform to create innovative solutions which included apps, websites and chatbots. The six teams were judged by a panel of experts for transport in Southeast Asia: Grab Vietnam, Vietnamese-German Transport Research Centre (VGTRC) and NEXT Mobility Group, Automotive Planning Department, Toyota Tsusho Corporatio. The winning team ExpressSaigon addressed a fundamental issue facing the bus system of Saigon and received 32 million Vietnamese Dong for their Facebook Chatbot, BusFam, which creates route based communities. The team's vision is for the communities to post lost and found items, share public safety alerts and route disruptions and discuss localised news. TUMI is now happy to support the winning idea.
Objectives of the 3rd TUMI Hackathon were to raise awareness for the importance of utilising data and technology to improve sustainable urban mobility systems as well as to support the city of Saigon with ideas and solutions for sustainable mobility, designed and informed by the local community.
The partcipating teams met both objectives by creating different apps that propose ideas and solutions for sustainable mobility and enable seamless, flexible trips:
- Happy City is an an app that rewards you for making green mobility choices.
- The app LearningJourney provides educational video playlists set to the duration of your trip.
- Ahihi is a journey planning app that focuses on finding the cheapest way to get from A to B.
- GIN is an alert app that uses machine learning to monitor live traffic video feeds for congestion.
- State of the Art is ajourney planning app that tailors to your priority of cost, time or distance.
The winning team ExpressSaigon addressed a fundamental issue facing the bus system of Saigon. Over the past 5 years, bus ridership fell despite the continual improvement of the system. ExpressSaigon believes the solution to sustain and increase ridership lies in communities. With their Facebook Chatbot, BusFam, they create route based communities. The chatbot starts as a journey planner and links you to your bus route's community. The chatbot prompts you to the route's Facebook group and matches you with fellow commuters based on your demographics and common interests.
The team's vision is for the communities to post lost and found items, share public safety alerts and route disruptions and discuss localised news. In addition, BusFam can generate valuable user feedback for the bus operator. The judges were impressed with the teams's innovative way of adressing a public transport adoption issue.
The winning idea resulted in a project concept which has now been submitted to the TUMI Global Urban Mobility Challenge 2019, showcasing the sustainability of the TUMI Hackathons: Ideas and solutions do not simply fizzle out. Rather they become part of a transformative process. More information on the Global Urban Mobility Challenge can be found here.
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