A new contest with a $30,000 in prizes has just opened in the Ford Innovate Mobility Series, in which software developers are asked to explore transportation and related issues facing and come up with new solutions.
The problem scenario for the challenge which started on September 3 and has a submission deadline of December 2 is located in Chongqing, China. One of the largest cities in China, Chongqing, which is commonly known as "Mountainous City" aims to create a one-hour economic access circle to the central city by any means of modern transport, but it faces multiple geographical obstacles.
According to the competition overview:
There are four linear mountains and two main rivers (the Yangtze River and the Jialing River) that constitute the downtown Chongqing area. This unique set of topography includes great differences in altitude and slopes that, in some cases, drop steeply to the banks of the Yangtze river. Such drastic geographic changes require a multitude of transit options to be available to allow for transportation into, out of, and through the city – including tunnels and underground tracks.
Developers are being asked for solutions that focus on helping people connect multiple modes of transportation, including for example cable cars and shared bikes, in cities where there are complex geographical constraints which contain a software component such as:
Solutions for this competition must include a software component such as:
an SMS or text message delivery to feature phones
a native smartphone or tablet app (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Kindle, Windows Mobile)
a web app (mobile or desktop)
a desktop app (Windows PC, Mac Desktop)
software running on other hardware (including, but not exclusive to, wearable technology, open source hardware, etc.)
custom hardware which includes a software component (wearable technology, etc.)
It is permissible to use pre-existing solutions (i.e. ones developed prior to this competition) as long as new functionality, relevant to the specific problem scenario, are added during the submission period.
The contest is hosted on Challenge Post and is one of a series sponsored by Ford. The others that are still ongoing, with their submission deadlines, are:
There's one further challenge - the creation of accessories for vehicles, especially commercial vehicles, in Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa which starts later this month and will finish in December.
As with other Challenge Post contests you need a free Challenge Post account as a first step to making a submission using a form that you fill in online.
All the competitions have the same eligibility rules making them open to individuals who have reached the age of majority in their country of residence. Teams of eligible individuals and organizations of up to 50 employees can also compete for cash prizes. Larger organizations can enter but to compete for a non-cash Recognition Award.
The usual list of Challenge Post excluded territories applies and the contest language is English. This means that all submission materials, which must include a demo video hosted on You Tube, Vimeo or YouKu and an image or screenshot of the solution must be in English, or an English translation must be provided.
The cash prizes for each contest are:
OpenXC Integration Prize
OpenXC is an open source platform for extending vehicles with custom applications and pluggable modules. It has a data-focused API which by installing a small hardware module makes vehicle data accessible to Android or desktop applications. In the description section of the submission form you are prompted:
If possible, please explain how Ford’s OpenXC platform enhances, or could enhance a future iteration of your app.
The problem scenarios seem relevant not only to the cities featured in the contest, but in many other locations. So if you are looking for a challenging project this is one that might set you on an interesting track.