SOURCE: Onramp Events

Onramp Events

December 09, 2014 09:11 ET

Toyota Announces Winners of Onramp 2014 Challenge

December 6-7 Event Combined Hackathon, Technology Fair and Business Conference

MENLO PARK, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2014) - Following a weekend of furious competition to create the best car technology apps for its CAN-Gateway ECU technology, accented by a technology fair and business conference, Toyota Motor Corporation capped its Onramp Challenge by awarding team Eye in the Sky top honors and a grand prize of $10,000 for its winning application. Held December 6 - 7 at the San Mateo County Event Center, the Onramp Challenge featured a talent-heavy field of Silicon Valley developers.

In addition to the hackathon, the Onramp Challenge featured a technology fair and business conference, successfully bringing together technologists, individuals, and companies interested in further exploring the intersection of car technologies and the car driving experience. During the fair, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Polyphony Digital, Sony Mobile Communications, KDDI America, Metromile, GoPro, Kyosho, Defi (Nippon Seiki), u-blox, Vector, Venture Scanner, Sumitomo Electric, and Ito En North America displayed their technologies and products to event participants. The business conference on Sunday afternoon included demonstrations of the winning apps, presentation of awards to the hackathon winners, and remarks from executives from Toyota, Nokia Growth Partners, XBrain, and Metromile.

At the hackathon, teams of participants competed to develop innovative and unique smartphone applications in 24 hours, with the emphasis on amplifying Toyota's pursuit of excitement, safety, and eco-motoring. Six Scion FR-S vehicles were used to capture data on various courses set up at the event, with Toyota sharing its onboard open platform "Vehicle Data Visualizer" with the public for the first time. As part of the competition, participants were able to send real-time vehicle data to mobile devices via Bluetooth and over the Internet, giving them digital interaction with the cars while out on course.

More than 20 apps were submitted during the competition. The grand prize winner, Eye in the Sky, created a flying camera drone that would automatically follow and film a Scion FR-S from multiple camera angles as the car was driven around the event course.

"We were excited about the unique opportunity to access this car data on a closed course. To combine that with a drone following the car was too unique an opportunity to pass up," said Eye in the Sky team member Nathan Schuett. "Our idea was to prove that the concept of parallel design and development would quickly bring a great product to life," said teammate David Witt.

In addition, teams AWARE, Interactive86, and RACEme were awarded runner up prizes for developing the best smartphone apps built under the key themes of "safety," "fun," and "efficiency," respectively. AWARE's app tracks drivers' visual attention and monitors cognitive awareness and distraction; Interactive86 built an app that responds to driver actions with audio, queuing up certain sound clips and songs depending on driver behavior; and the RACEme app provides a visual comparison of race data including acceleration, braking, and top speed, allowing drivers to compare these metrics on any route, using time-matched GPS coordinates.

"The Onramp Challenge gave us a very positive view into what can emerge when you combine the innovation and spirit of Silicon Valley with the promise of exciting car technology," said Yas Kohaya, Corporate Manager of Toyota's Silicon Valley office. "This event served as the starting point for a series of interactions between car enthusiasts and tech innovators, and we are eager to move forward with both groups."

Toyota will continue to develop connected vehicle technologies based on its tenets of providing convenient, comfortable and safe mobility to customers -- allowing for the connection of people, vehicles and society.

About Onramp
Onramp Events looks to engage people interested in exploring the intersection of new technology and the driving experience. Emerging technologies and social trends will impact the driving experience now and in the future. The Onramps Challenge's goals are to explore those impacts, help technologists experience the pure joy of driving, and to show car enthusiasts the possibilities of new driving experiences.

For more information, visit, or on Twitter: @OnrampEvents.

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