The MobiDataLab Datathon took place in Berlin on May 15 and 16, 2023. As the first event of the project’s Living & Virtual lab, it brilliantly kicked off the collaboration from all sides to help cities solve their mobility challenges with existing data and innovative tools. Here is a summary of the processes, and, more importantly, the outstanding results obtained.
The datathon started with an introduction to the MobiDataLab project, to set the context of the competition, and help participants understand the objectives and how they are expected to contribute.
The cities of Leuven, Milan, and Eindhoven had provided a description of their local environment and the main challenges they face to enable their citizens to move around in an efficient, sustainable, affordable and inclusive way. Participants were presented these and more general mobility challenges defined by the MobiDataLab partners in collaboration with their network, and especially the Reference Group members. In addition, participants received access to and explanation of multiple data sets related to mobility and transport information, such as the location of parking spots in Leuven, the list of upcoming large events in Milan, or the road traffic emissions in the Netherlands. The data sets had been collected, gathered and made accessible by the MobidataLab partners in a Data Catalogue. Access was granted through the MobiDataLab Virtual Lab, a tool enabling forum discussions, polling, live data exchanges and more collaboration activities.
After that, the datathon rules were presented in an interactive way, so all participants – both on site and online – would have the opportunity to clarify questions and uncertainties, to guarantee a productive and fair competition.
And that was the key to a deep dive into data sets and mobility policy and measures reflections, as well as networking and collaboration.
At the end of the day on Monday, May 15, and the whole day of May 16, teams formed and participants worked hard on the submitted problems with the proposed tools. We had students and research centers team up with start-ups and IT companies, joining from 17 European countries. In total, many teams took up the challenge, with contributions from about 70 people.
The most chosen challenges were Leuven #1 on multimodal travel accessibility and Milan #3 on published data quality. Insightful solutions used open streets maps of the city of Leuven, data on road incidents and road injuries, or shared cars location in Milan, addressing specific aspects with explained data choices and defined improvement goals and performance indicators. Eleven solutions were submitted by the end of the second day.
To get the sense of all these exciting proposals, the MobiDataLab partners had gathered a highly qualified jury, made up of mobility experts and data specialists, from France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
Ferdinand Burgersdijk and Tu-Tho Thai, independent experts with extensive experience in mobility data, Lucie Kirstein from ACATECH, and Stijn Vernaillen from the City of Antwerp joined the datathon organisers to evaluate the results, deliberate on the winners, and attribute the prizes designed to help solutions development. MobiDataLab partners from HERE Technologies, AETHON Engineering, Akkodis, Hove, F6S, and POLIS took part in the assessment of the solutions submitted, to ensure a complete perspective on the proposals, considering different aspects based on the jury members’ profiles.
Next to fruitful collaborations at the event, great ideas came out of the brains of the participants. The results were considered as extremely valuable insights for the cities to improve local mobility and solve their challenges. As a consequence, a follow-up on the first draft submitted appeared as inevitable to the MobiDataLab partners. A contact setting event gathering the solution providers and the municipalities benefitting from them is now being planned for the upcoming months. Until then, the solutions will be promoted specifically, but below is a basic picture of the winners: congratulations to all!
Second place solution
Rowan Davies and his solution on anomaly detection correction (Milan Challenge #1)
Global Fusion Team with their solution ‘an environmental approach to disability data‘ (Generic Challenge #1)
Third place solution
Team e:fs Techhub GmbH with their solution on automated quality assessment (Milan Challenge #3)
The results announcement concluded this great and too short journey in the mobility data world. But this is just a beginning, as two more data competitions are coming in the next months: the hackathon and the codagon. Check our channels to be aware and join us there!
Congratulations to all the participants, whose passion and aspiration for excellence were key to the success of this event, and will not remain unnoticed, as we aim at having an impact on urban mobility and are on our way to it. All our recognition goes to the jury members who accompanied the hard-working datathoners, supporting with their talent and expertise, and reviewed the solutions to quickly come up with qualitative results. We hope to continue the rich exchanges started at the datathon and see all of you again, with even more, at the next opportunities.