What happened at #HighwaysHack
Friday and Saturday saw #HighwaysHack innovation event take place at ODI Leeds. It was organised by Chris Barnes, Open Data Lead for Highways England, and attended by around 100 people.
At #HighwaysHack participants split into teams to generate solutions based on challenges identified by Highways England. Several solutions explored issues of journey planning and using open data to plug into transport planning tools. Solutions produced by the teams included:
Little Car Counter — an accessible traffic counting application, designed cheaply using a simple web cam, generating open data for upload to the web.
Route Rater 2.0 — an effective Excel-based journey planning tool to give users a range of clear travel information, including air quality and road safety.
Team RAC Foundation — made a useful transport data dashboard for their office combining open data feeds with paid-for data.
Freight Wotsit — delivered a fun interactive mobility as a service prototype, driven by a sustainability ethos.
Busyness — a minimal viable journey planner to empower users to make better informed travel decisions based on more accurate information.
Tony Malone, Chief Information Officer, Highway England, attended the hack and said there were some great ideas that can be taken forward.
Nic Cary, Head of Digital and Open Data, Department of Transport, said the hack showed how much can be achieved in a short amount of time when you ‘show the thing’.
Yes, #HighwaysHack created a productive environment where people could take risks and try out new things in a fast paced low-cost way. It was about realising the power of collaboration, open data, and working well — and it was fun.