Smart cities experts collaborated with developers, entrepreneurs and policy makers for our Smart Cities Connected Parking Hackathon, in partnership with Westminster City Council, the Department for Transport and Conduent this week.

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Participants were invited to co-create new ideas and concepts that solve the problems created by current parking environments and driver behaviour.

The diverse nature of Westminster and its multiple users creates high demand for the limited parking space available. The associated problems of congestion and poor air quality are often compounded by the time taken for motorists to find parking as they drive around the city searching for availability.

Therefore, participants were tasked with using data sets and a brief provided by Westminster City Council to create a completely new solution for parking congestion. The teams would then be challenged to create a paper prototype of their concepts and pitch them to a panel of expert judges, for a chance of winning £300.

The participants started by self-organising into multi-disciplinary teams, working with their mentor to brainstorm ideas. They then engaged in a Lotus Blossom exercise to dissect and refine their ideas.

They then pitched their Minimal Viable Product to receive initial feedback from the mentors, before diving into crafting a paper prototype.

Finding a winner

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The teams were given 3 minutes to pitch and 2 minutes for questions.

We were pleased to welcome a brilliant panel of expert judges to undertake the tricky decision of finding a winner. These were:

Kieran Fitsall – Head of Service Improvement & Transformation, Westminster City Council
Graham Hanson – Corporate Vehicles and Highways, Department for Transport
Dan Hubert – Chief Executive Officer, AppyParking
Adrian Farrell – Technical Director, Conduent

The Pitches

Team 1
Keeping cars out of Westminster by providing a data stream that plugs a current gap in journey planning apps, where users can be nudged to take public transport into Westminster.

Dynamic Duo
An app that provides real-time information about parking spaces due to become available. It will also calculate the probability of the user reaching it, based on distance and traffic data.

Fare Discount
Solving the inequality created by supply and demand pricing structures in parking by creating a system that offers users discounts in certain shops, based on the demographics of consumers.

4ward Thinking
An algorithm to create a targeted tariff system that incentivises users to choose designated parking spaces for a discounted price.

ParkCoin
Reducing the number of cars coming into Westminster by incentivising people to make better choices. The product would be an app and an API that allows you to gain social currency for making better journeys. You can use the points to gain reductions on your congestion charge or parking fees, for example.

Parxi
An app that does more than just tell users where to go, but calculates the best route based on real time information, re-routing you to the next best space if it becomes taken.

Park 4 Good
Encouraging private real-estate holders in Westminster to use their free space for parking, for CSR responsibilities, community action, charities etc.

Sound Park
The backend for all parking apps, connecting every single parking area through ultrasonic sensors that send data into the cloud.

Poncho
A real-time chat bot that nudges user behaviour on route to Westminster, persuading them to make a more efficient transport choice before they reach the borough.

The Winner

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The judges spent a long time deliberating, scoring the teams on their feasibility, scalability and innovation.

It was ParkCoin who were selected as overall winners, with Poncho and 4Ward Thinking as runners up.

“We’ve chosen ParkCoin as a winner as I think it’s a highly feasible solution and I don’t see any problems in scalability. Innovation is particularly high, especially the idea around multimodal transport and car sharing.” explained Dan Hubert.

The winning team will be further pitching their idea to the Department for Transport, Local Authorities and interested parties to develop and/or invest in turning their solution into a scalable and impactful reality.

We want to thank Westminster City Council, the Department for Transport, Conduent, Appy Parking and everyone who came out to support or take part in the day. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out more about future events and see more pictures from the day on our Facebook page.

Camilla James

Camilla James

Marketing & Communications Manager