Navigating the future: How do we get there from here?
“The world is a small world for passionate people” – Eloi Stree, VR Developer, and Y4PT Hackathon Winner & Mentor
In a little under a week, Y4PT participants and mentors will be travelling from all over the globe to Stockholm, to take part in the 2019 Y4PT Global Hackathon Finale. Our adventurers will bring and share their winning ideas from the past 2 years, and, in the framework of the UITP Public Transport Summit, create and present new solutions to our planet’s most pressing problems.
To those outside the field, transport may seem an unlikely leader and champion in the fight for the future of our world. On our journeys we see huge vehicles, grey roads, and shimmering fumes. We get lost in stations, miss connections, wade through grinding and wasteful delays. When we travel, when we move, all around us are reminders of the dangers we face now and may yet leave as our legacy to those walking the Earth after us.
The truth is, though, none of us are really outside this field. Transport is not a sector that can ever hide away. However we choose to use or build it, however we participate, however it carries us; we all have to find a way to get from one place to another. From the moment we wriggle in our parents arms and reach out towards something we want on the other side of the room, we are working out how to get around, and what we can make use of to help us get there! We humans are ambitious beyond the limits of our own bodies; ambitious beyond the limits of our current abilities; ambitious beyond the limits of our resources. This ambition gives us the power to achieve great things for ourselves, for our communities, and for our world. And also the power to deplete, to pollute, to waste, and to destroy. Nowhere is this battle for balance more tangible than in the ways we travel. For the entirety of human existence, transport has been right at the point where idealism and messy reality meet. So this is where we choose to stand, to create, and to make a difference.
“I have learned to never give up, and find [a] solution for every situation I encounter” – Sabin Dimian, Landscape Engineer, Product Designer, Y4PTHackathon Participant and Winner
Our Y4PT community – participants, mentors and supporters alike – are determined, proactive and visionary. We know in our hearts, and can conjure in our minds a future where sustainability, humanity, equality and health are fundamental to practical innovation rather than words thrown into a wishing well for funding. We have the guts to be building this world right now, with our own hands. We can see and create the destination. Our challenge is to you; Can you get here? We can help you find the way.
Every time we plan a journey, we launch ourselves into an uncertain future. We put our hopes, our goals, our safety in the hands of others. And not just those who build the machines and routes to move us, not just those who operate and maintain them, but also those who create the ways we navigate from where we are now to where we want to be. Whether across a town, a continent, a galaxy or an ambition; navigation is key.
On arriving at each Hackathon destination, the first thing we experience is the transport within that location. We find ourselves, new and young each time, in an unfamiliar place, with somewhere we need to be. How to we get there? Often the smallest and most immediate steps are the hardest. We know there is a train, but how do we find the platform it is leaving from?
“As an avid world traveller, I have faced many challenges when trying to use public transport in non-English-speaking countries like Russia where even signs were in a local language and very few people spoke English.” – Ion Morozan, Software Engineer, Product Designer, Y4PT Hackathon Participant and Winner
Replace “English” with Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Hausa, or whatever our mother tongue may be, and we find we are all of us thrown each time into a moment of uncertainty on arrival in any place that does not share a language we are already familiar with. The joy of growing understanding during our stay will come, but first we must overcome the initial confusion. Right at the time when we need to achieve something very practical and specific! And the confusion is not just with words; symbols, patterns, placement and customs taken for granted can be very different. Even a small difference can shake it up – people travelling from one city to another sharing the same language still often find the differences overwhelming.
It is the same in our lives and work, when striving to achieve a powerful fresh goal. It is often the most immediate, tiny, practical steps into the the new that are the most daunting. It is the same pattern of challenge each Y4PT Hackathon team faces, when generating and beginning work on a new idea.
“Looking from different perspectives, taking into account the different needs that people have in their lives and countries. And this, I think, is not a matter of country. We’ll be there to share our experience, and to create something that will hopefully be available to a lot of people all over the world.” – Massimo Santi, Mechanical Engineer, Y4PT Hackathon Participant and winner.
Many translate that experience directly into solutions. Joint winners of the 2017 Global Finale in Montréal, “UpWay”, took on the challenge of Metro navigation head-on with a combination of Augmented Virtual Reality, and Bluetooth beacons. In Dubai and Moscow, teams “Alwan” and winners “Portunhol” faced this challenge using the universal language of Colour. “Pomoshnik”, also a winner in Moscow, built on “FindMyTaxi”’s Montréal chatbot development to create a conversational solution, as did “BeMyGuide”. And “SellingRed” so improved navigation in the Moscow Metro that as well as taking 2nd place, the team were taken on to work on the official app, and aid international visitors throughout the FIFA World Cup 2019.
Moving outside the stations to the streets, Dubai Winners “Namshi” proposed moving walkways throughout the city to aid navigation and provide ease of healthy mobility at the same time. Many teams, including “Origin”, also Dubai winners, and “EcoTravellers” used navigation to inform and incentivise healthy and sustainable transport choices, rewarding positive choices.
Also incentivising healthy mobility, and thinking beyond the limitations of any one city, “Walkarama” (Moscow), focused on building a global walking community.
Alongside human navigation, projects have also addressed the logistics of locating and moving physical assets in more sustainable ways. Montréal 3rd place winners combined the two with “uDeliver”’s clever combination of wayfinding and crowdsourced courier service, and IMOVE Berlin winners AKM made mutually beneficial use of host Urbi’s location and usage data to enable sustainable transport providers to better manage their assets.
Y4PT Participants have explored solutions to navigation challenges, and also how navigation impacts all other elements of transport. All with the important advantage of working in teams made up of participants from many countries, and with many different skills. Each knowing how to navigate problems and journeys in their own spheres, and open to sharing with and learning from others.
“The ability to share knowledge is something astonishing. If we empower this to its best, we could provide a better life to a lot of people all over the world.” – Massimo Santi, Mechanical Engineer, Y4PT Hackathon Participant and winner.
Now, at the Y4PT Global Hackathon Finale, participants will once more walk bravely into the new. A fresh quest, in the City of Stockholm, among industry leaders and great opportunity at the UITP Summit 2019. In the space of just a few days, ideas will be dreamed, developed, presented and finessed. Old friends will greet each-other, new friendships and collaborations will be made. The magic of ambition meeting great love for our shared world will again mean our ability to travel is carried far beyond the expected, to where we really want to go.
“I think that this group of people can solve any problems that we are facing.” – Sabin Dimian, Landscape Engineer, Product Designer, Y4PTHackathon Participant and Winner
The expertise and fresh viewpoints of our young participants stand ready to join the discourse and exploration developing our transport of the future. They will be grasping the opportunity to learn from, and to inform the transportation decisions of the future that are developed here, and will be presenting their new ideas and projects at the Y4PT Hackathon Fair – described in 2017 as “The most exciting thing in the Congress”. These are the young people who will challenge and inspire. These are the young people who bring the solutions of the future. Join us in room T6, follow us on social media, invite us to visit your stands, sit on your panels and join your debates.
Whether you are a delegate, an exhibitor, a speaker, a journalist, an investor, or following us from afar, these are the young people who will help you find your way.
“How would you like to see the future? Now go for it, and build your own future!” – Johnny Heesterbeek, Engineer and Y4PT Hackathon Participant
– Laura Trevail; Southend & Disneyland Paris. May 2019
UpWay: “An augmented reality app to help people find their way in, out and around city transport hubs and underground networks” Aleksandrs Konopackis, Eloi Stree, Jonathan Adiaheno, Charles-Henri Van Nuvel, Ignacio O’Mullony
Alwan: “Breaking the language barrier with colour” André Borges, Jean Marinho, Bisher Zumot
Portunhol: “Colour coding hardware and software solution to help the guidance and management of crowds, inexpensively integrating with existing @moscowmetro technologies” Andre Borges, Luis Martins, Fernando Giraldo Montoya, Esteven, Bernardo Tavares, Vreixo Gonzales Caneda
Pomoshnik: “Passenger communication platform integrated into existing Moscow Metro application, providing route planning, ticketing, security & live support” Ion Morozan, Sabin Dimian, Riccardo Scarinci, Mariam Khalifeh, Emma Phiri, Stefan Binder, Uli Stroetz
FindMyTaxi: “Decreasing wait times for shared taxis in developing countries” Emma Phiri, Keven Villeneuve, Myriam Beauvais, Abhishek Gupta, Poyan Nabati, Sebastien Blais-Fernandez
BeMyGuide: “Virtual assistant for easy, clean & sustainable city navigation” Dafne Medina, Diego Cardenas
Selling Red: “Gamification app about #moscowmetro life. RL quests, which can be promoted by local businesses, provide users with points to spend at the inner metro e-shop” Rimikhanov Husein, Vladislav Bakhanov, Nikolai Zhikin, Dmitry Kuznetsov, Stanislav Vorobiev
Namshi: “Eco-friendly city moving walkways” | Facundo Di Giacomo, Simon Carpman, Riccardo Scarinci, Mariam Khalifeh
Origin: “App rewarding green route choices” | Soorya Kumar, Shaurya Sood, Bilal Shabandri, Kevin Martin
EcoTravellers: “AR trip planner rewarding green routes” | Ahmad Mehravaran, Fares Bou Najm, Hadi El Baba, Mostafa El Sayed
Walkarama: “Walk the world from your phone” Ignacio O’Mullony, Vreixo Gonzalez
uDeliver: “A city logistics crowdsourcing solution connecting commuters to parcel delivery” Filip Ivic, Tomas Janovsky, Jan Kouba, Tomas Kouba,, Matej Kuraja, Dejan Pavkovic, and Uli Stroetz
AKM: “Helping sustainable mobility providers optimise physical resources” Kai-Ting Chan, Abhinav Suman Paul, Matthias Kuhn