Hacking the mobility of the future: Mobility Hackathon Hamburg - a huge success

Hackers showed eos.uptrade & HOCHBAHN their vision for public transport

73 hackers, 19 teams, one goal: Innovation through hacking - improving the mobility of the future. On 22 and 23 September 2017, the motto in the sacred halls of Hamburg Hochbahn Overhead Railway was “Just hack it!”. Together, eos.uptrade and HOCHBAHN set the goal of the event: to accelerate the digitalisation in public transport by using the creativity, enthusiasm and know-how of this year’s 70 Hackathon participants.

#fishbowl, #feinstaub_joyride, #pathfind3r or #hvvvui - What sounds rather abstract at first, turned out to be a perfect mixture of great teams and committed, creative participants who were able to rapidly come up with innovative and targeted software and hardware projects. At the Mobility Hackathon, the participants proved that the term “Hackathon” (combining “Hack” and “Marathon”) really lived up to its name. “Events like this are what keeps us together and it’s great that we had the chance to join forces and make mobility a bit smarter” said developer and Hackathon winner Leonard Thiele.  

The participating developers, technicians, designers and other creative minds only needed roughly 24 hours to prove that the mobility of the future provides a vast amount of opportunities. The winning team #lid-rad, for example, developed a laser-based system that is able to detect irregularities on the track. It can detect, for example, when trees or bushes grow into a vehicle’s operating range. The system then takes a picture that can be analysed and evaluated accordingly. But the Hackathon’s participants also took care of several social aspects of mobility. The team #chatbot-tommy won the second prize by developing a chatbot that assists passengers with timetable information, ticket purchasing, navigation and many other use cases. The team #fishbow thrilled the crowd with a highly creative presentation involving feeding virtual fish. As a result, they won the third prize for developing a QR code for the windows of underground trains that can be scanned with a smartphone and - using augmented reality - invite passengers to dive into exotic worlds. The team #clashofpendlers won the audience award by developing a game for commuters. A project that boosts both the social interaction and the entertainment value of passengers.

“The commitment, the ideas and how they were put into practice - everything greatly exceeded our expectations,” said Michael Gross, Managing Director of eos.uptrade and member of the Mobility Hackathon’s jury. He added: “We are absolutely stunned by the response to our first Mobility Hackathon. And as a software specialist for online and mobile ticketing solutions, we were particularly happy that one team also came up with ideas how to further simplify ticket booking for our passengers. We would be delighted to follow-up these two days by continuing to work together with our participants.”

“With the Hackathon as an event, we have entered uncharted waters. The performance of our participants greatly exceeded our expectations,” said Henrik Falk, CEO of HOCHBAHN and member of the jury. He added: “Many of the ideas and approaches have the potential to be put into practice in our daily operations.”

As part of the event, participants had the opportunity to visit the service bays of HOCHBAHN and test the subway train simulator. The event ended with a visit to Hamburg’s famous Reeperbahn Festival.

The first Mobility Hackathon of eos.uptrade and HOCHBAHN was met with great excitement and therefore, because of all the positive feedback, is to be held again - in 2018.

For further information and images of the Mobility Hackathon, go to www.mobility-hackathon.de.

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