Countries the world over are looking for solutions to interminable city commutes and haphazard pedestrian safety, and so when the Swedish Embassy in New Delhi, in association with the Swedish Institute and Mumbai's Swedish consulate, initiated the Sweden-India Mobility Hackathon last month, everyone was looking for something lagom.
The northern Scandinavian word, roughly translated into "just the right amount" was the point of the hackathon, which was aimed to design, test and execute ideas for the future with a particular focus on mobility. The winning teams get an opportunity to collaborate with major Swedish and Indian companies and institutes to further develop their ideas and implement their thought-up solutions.
Over 500 participants including students, entrepreneurs, designers, and mobility experts from both Sweden and India worked with more than 76 mentors to develop solutions for future challenges of sustainable mobility.
The six predetermined challenges were: Lethal accidents in traffic; Safe transport; Sustainable transport; Emissions from the traffic sector; Infrastructure for connected vehicles; and Sustainable logistics.
The grueling 42-hour hackathon ultimately found its victorious teams (see Box), each of which had their own unique solutions to the unique problems of mobility in the future, whether from a driver, rider, or pedestrians’ perspective.
For instance, Energy for Society, the winners of Sustainable Transportation, said, "We had this idea of a Super fast modular charger and intelligent BMS for huge electric vehicles for some time. Winning only accelerates our drive to bring a change in this world. Our interdisciplinary team, ‘Energy for Society’ is highly committed to innovate and deploy this idea with much more energy now. It was our first hackathon, the experience and organising committee were great."
"Coming from travelling-participating-networking hackathons in person - never thought an outright digital hackathon would give us the same learning, fun and a win. With the evolution of the digital era, thanks to Sweden-India mobility hack and organisers - for setting a great standard, this is a big stage that makes us courageous to take a big leap and speak something that is less spoken and solve something that is more problematic," said DataTor (The Insight & Co), winners of the Infrastructure for connected devices.
"Our idea on Data Privacy for Connected Vehicles is aimed to offer Data Transparency, Consent and Convenience and thereby make any data safe for all. Our Vision is to make everyone drive Safe - even in data context. As a part of our progressive future, we are trying to establish tie-ups with partners of the hackathon and legally help create an entity around our product for building a privacy safe future for all," they added.
Returning to more pressing present needs, there is of course, the issue of pollution, especially in India, home to a majority of the world’s most polluted cities, with vehicular emissions being a huge contributing factor.
The team Planer Saviours came up with a 'Smart CO2 calculator for smart vehicles', to address the same. "Our idea was based more towards self-awareness of an individual on his or her driving trends/patterns, which are causing the harmful vehicle emissions to the atmosphere and how he or she could monitor the same and give a thought about changing to biodiesel or electric vehicles in future," said Planet Saviours, adding, "It’s a well-known fact that we have to push ourselves as no one else is going to do it for us, And so self-awareness is the first smaller step towards a bigger change in tomorrow. Let us monitor individually the greenhouse emission levels and foresee the drastically changing numbers."
Encapsulating the whole experience, Klas Molin, Ambassador of Sweden to India, said, "I would like to thank the Swedish Institute, all our partners and the participants for making the Sweden-India Mobility Hackathon a resounding success. The Hack provides an opportunity for creative and innovative young people to take the lead and find solutions to one of greatest challenges of today and tomorrow."
Here's hoping for better road features to help steer us to a cleaner future.