Mercedes-Benz Digital Challenge — Winners, Projects and Prizes!

High Mobility
Oct 24, 2017 · 6 min read

Many of you will be aware of our recent collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, Deloitte and BeMyApp for the Mercedes-Benz Digital Challenge, the first contest of its kind to bring together software developers from around the world to build apps using car APIs for a connected car. With over 2000 interested registrants to the competition, almost 500 projects created, just under 100 submissions and over 135,000 API requests (indicating extremely high engagement from developers involved), we were thrilled to witness the passion and enthusiasm stirred up by the Challenge in the global developer community.

The Mercedes-Benz Challenge Award Ceremony gets under way

Moving away from the more traditional offline hackathon, the online approach of the Mercedes-Benz Digital Challenge was made possible through the use of HIGH MOBILITY’s virtual car — a sophisticated car emulator that enables developers to test out their apps in a true-to-life environment without the need for a real vehicle. By opening up the contest to developers from all over the world we saw applications from every single continent, a spectacular example of international collaboration, innovation and competition.

Jörg Mäusling kicked off the presentations

In essence, the Challenge was a chance for individuals and teams to build a new mobility and connectivity experience. The judges were looking for new and innovative use cases — app or otherwise — using the car emulator, mock APIs, and SDKs. What we found to be particularly impressive was the diversity of the applications we received with Android, iPhone, web apps and even chatbots submitted by the entrants.

Dr Klaudia Hergula, Head of Digital Transformation Office at MBC and Sabine Scheunert, Vice President Digital & IT MBC Marketing & Sales

With up to €30k in cash prizes shared between the 15 finalists plus the opportunity to showcase their projects to automobile giants Mercedes-Benz up for grabs, developers took the chance to flex their app-building muscles and build apps and services ready to impress the car industry’s biggest movers and shakers.

The awards ceremony for the Challenge on Friday 20th October 2017 marked the end of what’s been an exhilarating journey, and we’ve been truly awestruck by the innovation and dedication we’ve seen from the developers who took part.

We’d like to offer our congratulations to the top three finalists, who were, as follows:

First prize of €15,000 cash and an invitation to the WebSummit to present alongside Mercedes-Benz, was awarded to: Safe Drive, a smart e-call service.

Second prize of €6,000 was awarded to: KarMa, a holistic car companion app.

Third prize of €3,000 was awarded to: Virtuo, a mobile-only car rental solution.

Great work everybody!

More details of the projects are further down this post.

Wilko A. Stark, Vice President of Daimler Strategy, MBC Product, Strategy and Planning

Awards Ceremony

After thought-provoking speeches, “From Product to Platform” by Dr Klaudia Hergula, Head of Digital Transformation Office at MBC and “Becoming A Platform-Driven Organisation” by Sabine Scheunert, Vice President Digital & IT MBC Marketing & Sales, the winning projects were announced by Wilko A. Stark, Vice President of Daimler Strategy, MBC Product, Strategy and Planning to the audience of car enthusiasts and car makers. Stark congratulated the winning teams and presented them with their awards and prizes.

Finalists

The top 3 finalists in the Challenge, as announced on Friday, were:

First prize

Winners SafeDrive collecting their cheque

Team name: SafeDrive

Project description: a smart e-call service

They say: “While other systems focus on either fatigue or accidents, we widen the scope of our application, including more factors, to handle driver impairment and sickness, in general, providing an answer also for strokes or heart attacks by mixing the monitoring of accident detection, driver fatigue, driver’s heart rate, and ability to answer.”

Check out SafeDrive here!

Second prize

Second place prize winners KarMa receiving their cheque

Team name: KarMa

Project description: a holistic car companion app

They say: “Let me introduce KarMa, an Android application designed using Mercedes Benz APIs, to provide a centralized platform which users can rely upon for all their car needs.”

Check out KarMa here!

Third prize

Third place prize winners Virtuo receiving their cheque

Team name: Virtuo

Project description: a mobile-only car rental solution

They say: “Use technology to enhance car rental customer experience.”

Check out Virtuo here!

Contestant Tools and Resources

Many sought help and advice in the discussion forum, where Mercedes-Benz engineers, digital experts from Deloitte, HIGH MOBILITY experts and BeMyApp moderators assisted teams and individuals by answering questions and offering advice. Discussions between developers both technical and theoretical also took place here, and it became a great resource in its own right.

The HIGH MOBILITY team presented a number of in-depth webinars covering how to use the site, the APIs and the emulator as well as tutorials on developing for Android or iOS.

HIGH MOBILITY co-founder Kevin Valdek and Bryan Knouse from the team behind “Butler”

Conclusion

If you didn’t take part this time, don’t worry, this wasn’t your last chance! We’ll be keeping you updated on all the upcoming challenges and competitions we have in the pipeline. Stay tuned and, until then, happy building.

High Mobility

Food for thoughts – the future of cars & data driven connected mobility services