Sustainability Hackathon Results In New EV Apps

The first Sustainability Hackathon was held at the BMW Technology Office in Mountain View, Calif.

The purpose of the event was to share ideas and develop new apps in the areas of electro-mobility and sustainability.

The winning app is designed to help electric-car users communicate quickly and simply with one another on an anonymous basis in order to use charging stations efficiently and minimize waiting times.

Eighty software developers and computer programmers participated in the two-day “hack event” held between April 27 and 29 in Mountain View, California, according to BMW.

The event’s main sponsors were the car-sharing service DriveNow and ChargePoint, as well as BMW.

Fifteen 15 apps for smartphones and mobile phones competed for first place in seven award categories.

A total of $3,000 in prize money was awarded to the most practical, creative apps.

BMW said that a widespread problem, currently, is the less-than-optimal utilization of electric-vehicle charging stations, which are often used by only one vehicle for an extended period of time.

A growing concern: electric vehicles may be parked at a charging station during an entire workday… While only needing a couple hours of charge.

The winning apps enable electric-car owners to communicate with one another in order to use charging stations more efficiently and maximize their utilization.

For example: One car is parked at a charging station; the other arrives at the station and needs ten minutes’ worth of electricity to reach its destination. The driver of the second vehicle can use the app on his or her mobile phone to contact the driver of the first car quickly and anonymously to request permission to charge the vehicle for a short time – naturally, with the assurance that the first car will be plugged in again afterwards.

The winning apps can be found through this link: https://www.hackerleague.org/hackathons/sustainability-hackathon-mv/wikipages/511eb98b9989c5b204000016 while blog posts related to the event can be accessed through these: http://tech.jeancarl.com/2013/04/29/bmw-sustainability-hackathon/ and http://www.transportationtechnologyventures.com/blog/?p=445 .

Meanwhile, Chargepoint has uploaded pictures of the event on its corporate Facebook page.