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Developers Map the Quickest Route to the Connected Car

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Developers mashed up Visa Developer and GM APIs to build apps that turn commuting from chaotic to carefree at Los Angeles Hackathon.  




Road warriors get ready. Solutions to drivers’ biggest complaints may not be far in the future if the winning hacks at Code AutoMobility LA are any indication.


Over 140 developers came together to take on the challenge of simplifying and improving the world through connected vehicles and commerce. 




Perhaps the most surprising demo was a vehicle-to-vehicle communication app that would allow one driver to pay another for the privilege of merging on the highway. “I will allow you to cut in front of me for $5.” Definitely something I would use. 


Some competitors were thinking three lanes outside the box (see what we did there?Smiley Happy) ) One team’s idea would allow for in-vehicle access when the driver isn’t around, enabling a designated stranger to open the trunk to retrieve an item while the driver is at work.


Another team devised a multitasking app that could conceivably improve local infrastructure. Drivers could snap photos of potholes they encounter, then send them to the city with the possibility of being rewarded for their diligence.


Visa and GM awarded $85,000 in prize money to developers who could solve problems for drivers, passengers, retailers and city planners by creating innovative connected-car solutions to ease congestion, reduce emissions and facilitate in-car payment solutions.

Though competing developers took vastly different approaches to the challenge, their solutions had a common thread: making shopping and commuting easier for drivers. The opportunities they addressed included:


  • Parking. Hacks enabled drivers to order ahead, pay for parking and know the precise location of their spots in advance of the trip. Some cars may soon communicate with parking meters so the meter knows exactly when the vehicle is in the spot. Not only does that mean no more stuffing coins in meters, it means consumers may pay only for the time they’ve actually used the spot.
  • Lines. Vanquished. Soon connected cars won’t just allow drivers to order via voice as they drive, they can determine which coffee shops have the shortest lines, helping commuters and merchants alike.
  • Preventative maintenance. When a repair needs to be scheduled, a vehicle can automatically make the appointment with a mechanic or dealership—and pay for it in advance.


And the winners are:


1st Place - TRIBALSCALE 



  • Tribal Scale won the grand prize of $40,000 for their in-car AI-driven e-commerce platform which allows consumers to purchase items directly from the vehicle for curbside pickup, eliminating parking needs. Commuting and looking for parking in LA is inefficient and costly, so the team created GM OrderNow, an in-car AI-driven e-commerce platform which allows consumers to purchase items directly from the vehicle for curbside pickup, eliminating parking needs.
    • The platform is comprised of apps that offer: 1) dynamic voice enabled purchases from in-vehicle, 2) an intelligent parking system, 3) inventory collection management, and 4) a turn-key voice assistant for store owners. Together, this team estimated the system will reduce daily commute times by 40%.
    • APIs used – Intermixed Visa Checkout and Visa Direct push payments as well as utilized Merchant Search along with GM’s Drive mode Manager






  • Pit Stop won second place and received $30,000 for their machine learning predictive maintenance solution for ride share drivers






  • 3rd Place: VHub won third place and received $15,000 for their monthly membership plan that improves consumer's EV charger experience by charging one rate and eliminating the need for multiple apps.


Stay tuned for more from the winning teams and their idea, join the Visa Developer Commmunity today by creating an account here.


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