SUNNYVALE and MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Motivated students and young professionals met on November 5-6 in Silicon Valley, California, to compete in the fifth 24-hour hackathon jointly organized by the Business Innovation Team of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Mercedes-Benz Vans and DigitalLife@Daimler.
The task was to develop intelligent transport and mobility concepts for the Mercedes-Benz Vans division. With its strategic initiative "adVANce", Mercedes-Benz Vans is transforming itself from a vehicle manufacturer into a provider of integrated, customer-focused solutions. Since the start of the year, the Future Transportation Systems team in Silicon Valley has been working on concrete logistics concepts. The team's "garage" in Menlo Park was also the venue for the hackathon. It was here were the competitors found the inspiration for clever concepts and fresh ideas around the intelligent connectivity of vans, goods and people with the Internet of Things and cloud data. Experienced mentors were on hand to help the teams with words and deeds. After 24 hours, the ideas were pitched to the judges at the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America in Sunnyvale. Each team had four minutes in which to convincingly present their propositions to an interdisciplinary panel of expert judges from Mercedes-Benz. The jury rated criteria such as the degree of innovation and business potential of the ideas as well as the use of IoT and cloud technologies and the functionality of the prototype. Rasheq Zarif, Head of Business Innovation at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America: "Mobility means more than four wheels on the road, it also includes the courage to do the unconventional. We've demonstrated this with car2go and the self-driving F 015. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don't. An inventive spirit is part of our DNA. We rely on that spirit every day in our work - and we were glad to see the same with the top talents at the hackathon."