Drexel University and Michelin North America have announced the winner of the Connected Mobility Challenge, a six-week competition to identify innovative solutions with the potential to impact people and their mobility and change the transportation industry.
In collaboration with Drexel’s Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Drexel Ventures and the Close School of Entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary student and faculty teams were invited to submit proposals that utilized technology, connectivity, big data and design to foster a better life through sustainable mobility. Four teams were selected from the applicant pool to receive mentoring by the Close School and compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to develop their ideas in partnership with the Michelin Innovation Incubator.
A team of judges comprising representatives from the Michelin Incubator and Drexel ranked the semi-finalists and awarded prizes based upon each team’s ability to fit with the connected mobility topic, the uniqueness of the idea, structure and thoroughness of the proposal, and presentation quality.
“The VR/AR Manual” concept won first place and $3,000. Danish Dhamani, an undergraduate student pursing a joint BS/MS degree in mechanical and electrical engineering with a minor in entrepreneurship, and Paritosh Gupta, an undergraduate student in the College of Computing & Informatics, came up with the idea of a virtual and augmented reality cloud-based platform—with a market potential of more than $1billion—based on a licensing model that can address multiple connected mobility challenges, including consumer vehicle repair.
“The Dock and Drive” concept was the runner-up and received $1,000. Riddhi Ameser, an undergraduate student in the College of Engineering, and Akul Bahl, an undergraduate in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, developed a proposal for a cell phone substitute as a key that is docked in the vehicle that could start and stop the vehicle, enable blue-tooth connectivity, and transmit driving data. This technology is aimed at enhancing driver safety in young adults, the population at highest risk for accidents based on cell phone usage while driving.
Honorable mentions and $500 went to “EZ Trip” and the “Michelin Car Adaptor.” Parvir Mundi, an undergraduate student in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Sajin George, an undergraduate in the College of Engineering, and Jamai Barros of Temple University came up with a multi-modal transportation app that links public and private transportation intelligence and payments into a single solution.
LeBow College of Business students Brian Silverman, Jordan Macintire, Glenn Solomon and Arya Singh proposed the “Michael Car Adaptor” concept for a plug-in that collects data on driving habits and car-diagnostics proprietary to the driver and can be sold to insurers on an online marketplace utilizing a commission-based broker model.