Daimler hosts Silicon Valley Hackaton

June 09, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Not only are Silicon Valley companies like Apple or Tesla hiring Daimler automotive experts, the story also works the other way around: Through its North American subsidiary, the German luxury carmaker will host a Hackaton the heart of the Silicon Valley to attract software talent.

Daimler said the reason why it is organizing the event is because company is looking for new and exciting in-car concepts as part of the Internet of Things. But also innovative ideas looking at how vehicles can communicate with wearable devices have a chance to win a prize. To this end, the Hackathon participants are provided with vehicle data in the form of an Application Programming Interface.

The event will start on Friday, June 12, and last throughout the weekend at the GSVLabs in Redwood City. The three Hackathon finalists will then be announced on Sunday, 14 June at 6.00 p.m. local time. Before the prizes (including a Mercedes-Benz CLA 250) are awarded, however, the three finalists have to negotiate the all-important second phase.

Following the Hackathon, the three finalists will further develop their ideas and produce prototypes with a team of coaches. To try out their concepts in a real environment, they are given access to Mercedes-Benz vehicles, for example. Plus there will be engineers and developers of Daimler Benz Research & Development North America (MBRDNA) on hand with help and advice.

The day of reckoning then arrives at the start of July when the finalists pitch their projects to the Daimler Board of Management. The members of the Board of Management will then decide which project is the overall winner of the Hackathon.

As recently as February, the carmaker hosted a similar event in Bangalore (India) where the Daimler is running its largest R&D center outside of Germany. The event attracted more than 100 participants in 38 teams. At this event, the first prize was awarded to a team named UnReal with its DigitalSense app. The app made use of the NFC technology to exchange data in and with the car.

More information: www.hackwiththebest.com