“The idea is to bring together new technology and digital innovation and some free thinking and fresh perspectives. We’re looking for new ideas that can meaningfully impact road safety in New Zealand.”
Mr Wilson says the Transport Agency will be asking teams to keep the ‘Safe System’ approach front of mind as they build their solutions. The Safe System approach aims for a more forgiving road system that takes human fallibility and vulnerability into account.
“Under a Safe System, we design the whole transport system to protect people from death and serious injury,” Mr Wilson says.
The Transport Agency has suggested six challenge areas that the teams might focus on. For example it points to the fact that most people wear seat belts, but 26 per cent of road deaths in 2017 involved people not wearing seatbelts. How can technology help “make it click” every time in every vehicle?
Other challenge areas include driving too fast for the conditions, driving while impaired, making older vehicles and motorcycles safer and reducing crash risks on roads without median barriers.
Teams will also be able to focus on a problem of their own choosing.
“We’ve got 120 people signed up on a first-in first served basis, with another 70 on a waiting list. We’ve got developers, tech experts and people with engineering or transport backgrounds. We’ve got people with a personal motivation for improving road safety. All are passionate about being involved in finding solutions to an issue which affects communities and so many people.”
The Hackathon will take place in Auckland on 16-18 March. Participants will come together on the Friday night, divide into teams and spend Saturday and Sunday working on their product or service idea. They’ll have access to data and APIs from the Transport Agency and its partners.