Youth hackathon helps develop knowledge economy

October 30th, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT

Sanral and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) have partnered with WherIsMyTransport to host the ETC Hackathon in Cape Town from 26 to 28 October 2018. Under the theme of “collaborate and innovate,” participants were invited to create innovative smart mobility applications utilising both Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) toll gantry data and WhereIsMyTransport public transport data.

Sanral, which manages the world’s tenth largest national road network, has for some time been operating in the digital space, with the use of its Freeway Management System that deploys dedicated cameras on 520 km of the busiest freeways across the country. Real-time traffic data is collected and used to determine how best to respond to an incident, dispatching the relevant response entity and ultimately saving lives on the roads.

The winning team, who developed a turn-by-turn navigation solution delivered to public transport users either by SMS or WhatsApp.

The winning team, who developed a turn-by-turn navigation solution delivered to public transport users either by SMS or WhatsApp.

According to ETC’s Darewees Talliep, the system handles 550 000 transactions per hour, which equates to 155 transactions every second.  ETC made a random selection of transactional data available to the participants, with which they could work to create a mobile solution that aids safe and improved road user experiences. Some of the proposed solutions included drawing usage/behaviour patterns, analysing traffic volumes, customer service centres and identifying foreign vehicles.

Through their public transport API, WherIsMyTransport gave participants access to all the main public transport platforms, i.e. bus, taxi, train, walking routes, and other modes, which could be integrated to best achieve usable public transport solutions for the public.

By 28 October participants presented their solutions to a panel of judges. The winning team, who conceptualised a mobile solution that delivers turn-by-turn public transport directions via SMS or WhatsApp, walked off with a R20 000 cash prize and a year’s worth of free access to the WhereIsMyTransport Public Transport API.

Contact Randall Cable, Sanral, cabler@nra.co.za