Well done to Subodh Dhakal and his team "ParkRite" who won the 'All Access' Hackathon. Organised by the NZ Transport Agency, the digital innovation weekend was held in Auckland from 21-23 September 2018.
This year's theme focused on ‘reimagining how technology can create a more inclusive transport system’. Participants were asked to tackle barriers to access including age, licensing, affordability, geographic isolation and resilience, and disability. Attendees were a mix of problem solvers, creatives, developers, analysts, behavioural experts, UX designers and anyone else keen to make a difference.
The overall winners were ParkRite, who came up with a solution to stop the abuse of mobility parks by those who are not entitled to use them and to provide visibility of the availability of mobility parks across New Zealand.
“It was a pleasure to observe the ParkRite team progress their initial concept from establishment to presentation. It’s a well-thought out solution that could have a real impact on the lives of New Zealanders holding mobility passes as well as their family and support people. We heard at the opening of the Hackathon from Gerry Pomeroy the extent of loss of confidence and isolation experienced from an inability to access fundamental services where these parks are often located” says the Transport Agency’s Strategic Advisor in the Chief Executive’s Office, Robyn Fisher.
The winning teams will retain the intellectual property of their ideas, with the Transport Agency helping to progress the winning solution to the next stage of development in the interests of creating a more accessible transport system. The Transport Agency also reserves the right to work with any of the teams to help them develop their ideas to the next stage.
For Subodh, this hackathon was about meeting new people, engaging with beautiful minds and having the opportunity to work with a diverse group people of different ages and backgrounds. Collaborating with these people for 24 hours and coming up with a winning concept that can make a real difference to everyday New Zealanders, especially for those with special mobility and access requirements, is something that I will cherish for rest of my life. I am very proud of what we achieved as a team, a successful result that came together through collective minds. I look forward to helping further develop ParkRite and hope to see it implemented in our carparks soon. The idea is that ParkRite will create social pressure and improve enforcement, giving these parking spaces back to those who need them the most.