On the 5th and 6th of November the fifth hackathon of DigitalLife Campus took place in Silicon Valley, jointly organized by the Business Innovation Team of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Mercedes-Benz Vans and DigitalLife@Daimler. Once again the participants demonstrated the enormous potential of that event. 7 teams, consisting of students and young professionals, worked on the topics “cloud data and internet of things for future transportation” and developed remarkable ideas & prototypes and further presented them in well prepared pitches – within 24 hours! Algorithms, cloud data and machine learning were hereby only some parts of the hackathon. Even though all teams impressed with their results, there can be only one champion. This time it was team “MBarc” with an app to optimize fleet management. For us it was a pleasure to be part of that event, the last hackathon of the global DigitalLife Campus Series… in 2016…
The second-placed team, "FleetWise", was successful with the idea of intelligent fleet routing for electric vehicles. Machine learning is employed to determine the usage of the vehicle battery based on current traffic situations and the driver's driving style as well as on the weight and size of the vehicle. As a next step, the app suggests a suitably energy-saving route or indicates the way to the nearest charging station.
The winning team "MBarc" developed an app that enables the driver at all times to assess the damage on the vehicle. The driver uses his smartphone to take a 360‑degree shot of their van. The app then accesses data-based reference models, compares them with the vehicle and identifies possible damage. The damage is then analyzed and the need for repair is assessed - a quick and simple way to optimize fleet management.
Third place went to the "VANage" team, which used IoT- and cloud-based sensors, route information and driver profiles to accurately predict maintenance intervals in order to increase driver safety as well as to efficiently plan vehicle usage times.
Mr. Markus Haegele
Head of DigitalLife@Daimler
“It was fascinating to experience how, in a very short time, enthusiastic competitors were able to apply such great entrepreneurialism and team spirit, in close consultation with our experts, to develop innovative ideas and thereby contribute to the digital transformation at Daimler.”
Mr. Nicolaas Tempelhoff
Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Future Transportation Systems North America
"With the Hackathon we were not only able to inspire smart minds for our brand but also gain concrete ideas for digital solutions around our transporters. We now want to work intensively with the interested teams and discuss possibilities for implementation."
Mr. Rasheq Zarif
Head of Business Innovation North America:
"Just when you think you know it all and you think you have a lot of ideas already, something new just comes out of the blue and it just really shows that the breadth of ideation and concepts here in Silicon Valley is just limitless!"
With DigitalLife@Daimler we bundle digitalization activities at Daimler to push and initiate digital transformation across all divisions at Daimler.
Our goal is to establish a new culture of innovation to combine the strenghts of Daimler with the strengths of startups: more founding spirit, more risk-taking and more speed. Therefore, events like hackathons are very important for us as we bring our digital interactions with students and professionals to the next level. In addition it gives talented people insights into our company, while we benefit from external perspectives and innovative ideas.