Hackathon yields tech for ride sharing, saving water

CWC News
Monday, June 13, 2016
San Diego Union Tribune
Hackathon yields tech for ride sharing, saving water

by Mike Freeman

Contest aimed to help San Diego with Climate Action Plan

Routed, which gives cities tools to promote ride sharing based on traffic patterns, was the winner of the top prize at the three-day San Diego SmartCity Hackathon and Innovation event held last week.

The $5,000 competition aimed to spark development of technologies to help San Diego reach its ambitious goals for cutting carbon emissions and water use. Winners were announced Wednesday evening.

Held at UC San Diego, the SmartCity Hackathon attracted more than 200 software developers and technology designers. They tapped into 500 data sets from the city and others on energy use, water consumption, traffic, parking, weather patterns, infrastructure and mass transit. Some of the data hadn’t been publicly available before.

The city, UCSD and technology companies such as Qualcomm and Teradata sponsored the contest. In December, the City Council adopted a Climate Action Plan that calls for reducing greenhouse gases to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.

Routed analyzes traffic and reports the costs for using different modes of transportation to users who download an iPhone app. Cities can offer ride sharing incentives to app users based on where roads are congested. It was created by Kirk Davis, Chuanqiao Huang, Sara Attou and Matthew Attou.

One Drop, a software and sensor system for monitoring water use, took the prize for the best Internet of Things technology. It tells residents about their current water usage relative to their neighbors. It also shows historical data so residents better understand their consumption. It was created by Carmel Fiscko, YiDing Fang, Max Oliver Geislinger, Lydia Ko, Max Xing and Mason Park.

Other apps recognized from the SmartCity Hackathon include:

  • Recyclic: This virtual reality game is set in a recycling plant. Players must sort garage from recyclable materials, and place recyclables in correct bins. The game boosts awareness of what’s recyclable and how it should be sorted.
  • IncentiWise: A mobile app that aims to encourage people to walk, bike or take public transit. It offer credits to users who walk or bike. Those credits can be used to buy public transit passes, or they can be applied to discounts at participating local businesses.
  • Grasshopper: A carpool app targeting people who are going to concerts, sporting events or other activities that draw crowds. It connects users with other concert/event goers who live nearby. It seeks to cut the number of cars at an event by 25 percent or more.
  • Spectre: A software platform that brings databases together so they’re easier to search and analyze. It’s targeted at city planners but also could be used by contractors and others seeking city information.