Ann Arbor SPARK, in collaboration with Redwood City, California based NestGSV, recently hosted a connected vehicle hackathon. The Ann Arbor-based Hertz Alerts team won the Hertz challenge track grand prize, an Xbox One Titanfall Bundle, as well as the Ann Arbor grand prize of $10,000 of business acceleration services from Ann Arbor SPARK and a TK1 development platform from NVIDIA.
During the 26-hour event, teams at SPARK Central and NestGSV solved challenges presented by Hertz, AT&T, mojio, and gracenote. The teams from Michigan and California worked head to head via a remote feed.
Sam Harrell and Harrison Steves, the Hertz Alerts developer team, worked through the night to create an award-wining application. They creatively combined the Hertz application programming interface with iBeacon technology to develop an application to improve a customer’s complete car rental experience. The Hertz Alerts application improves customer interaction with features like automatic check-in, up to the minute update of renters arrival to the rental car counter, and a faster pick-up and drop-off process.
Other Ann Arbor hackathon winners included a team from Detroit-based Apigee and Jim Barstow of Ann Arbor-based Dynamic Edge. The Apigee team won NVIDIA’s Shield gaming platform and Jim Barstow won $1,000 cash. University of Michigan Dearborn team Creative Computing Club was awarded “judges choice” for its hackathon efforts.
“Besides providing a collaborative tech event for developers in the region, Ann Arbor SPARK’s goals for the hackathon were to make those on the west coast aware of talent in the Ann Arbor region, and to attract California companies to Michigan,” explained Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO. “The hackathon was also a great chance to show software developers in Silicon Valley the connected vehicle activity here in Michigan.”
NVIDIA and Towersec sponsored the Ann Arbor event. Towersec CEO Saar Dickman, technology executive Roger Jollis, Michigan eLab Co-founder and General Partner Doug Neal, and Christopher Jue, Co-Founder Accelerance Partners were volunteer judges in Ann Arbor.