Jennifer van der Kleut
Teams from Fairfax, Virginia’s eTrans Systems and students from George Mason University’s College of Science led the winners of the Fairfax County Government’s first Transportation and Mobility Hackathon.
Held just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the contest encouraged teams to present innovative solutions to pressing problems such as traffic, congestion, public safety, advancing of connected and automated vehicle technology, and increasing mobility for senior and disabled citizens.
Submissions were judged over many criteria, including potential for scalability and widespread adoption, use of a diverse set of data in its design and approach, the potential for the biggest impact on local safety and quality of life, and how easily organizations could partner to implement the process.
eTrans Systems presented the idea for the E-Walk smartphone application, which would connect the user to traffic infrastructure and nearby connected vehicles in real time. The application would not only help the average cyclist or pedestrian as they approach traffic intersections, but would significantly improve safety for the disabled and visually impaired, who have a tough time finding that crosswalk button or being able to tell if vehicles or other humans are coming in their direction.
As the first-place winner of the Hackathon, eTrans Systems was awarded $3,000 by the Fairfax County Government for further work in developing the E-Walk app.
Runners-up included second-place winners All Traffic Solutions and third-place winners Qlarion.
The top winners in the student category, the team from George Mason University (GMU), presented their artificial-intelligence-driven early crash warning system, which won them a $1,500 prize.
Other entrants included Go Together, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Tech, Fluxity, Edge360 and Old Dominion University.
See video of many of the pitch presentations on the Fairfax County Government’s Hackathon web page.
Image via Pixabay