Mercedes’ Hackathon Ignites Innovation

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Mercedes Benz recently held a Hackathon Event in Redwood City, California. There were 47 teams that pitched new ideas for mobile applications, new features, and wearables that have the potential to be added onto future car models. The event clued people in that their next mobile device investment may very be in their car. Many of the innovations that were demonstrated revolved around the assumption that adding mobile apps to cars will be the next big thing.After listening to a total of 47 pitches, the judges had the demanding task of narrowing down the projects down to the top three. The projects that had the most appeal to the judges were the BenzPay, CoPilot, and Jerri apps.BenzPay allows for direct payment among owners of Mercedes Benz cars. CoPilot is designed to prevent accidents from drowsy drivers by enabling you to be social with your friends while driving, while Jerri sends alerts to local service attendants to fill up your car with gas when its tank is nearly empty – thus eliminating the need for you to ever have to refill your car tank yourself.The three finalists will be able to continue their work with the guidance of mentors. After the completion of their prototypes, they will be invited to present their work to senior Mercedes Benz executives in July.Some of the other projects that held potential included a customized smartwatch that will allow users to easily identify their cars, an app that alerts you when your parking spot time is almost up, and even an app that rolls down windows when people leave their kids in the cars.After reviewing the different kinds of projects pitched at the Hack-a-Thon, it appears that the car of the future may be closer than we think.For a more detailed account of the Mercedes Benz Hackathon, please see this report from Nicole of Mobile Geeks, who was a judge at the event.