BBC Digital Cities and a great, green hackathon victory

BBC Digital Cities and a great, green hackathon victory

Recently, I joined a multidisciplinary team – aka Eco Road Warriors – to take part in a BBC Digital Cities two-day hackathon. It was a great two days and I’m happy to report that our project to help Bristol become a lower-emission city emerged as the winner.

The team chose the theme ‘Eco Routes’ and set to work to help the city’s authorities nudge drivers to take routes that will produce fewer emissions from petrol and diesel cars on day-to-day journeys. The project was awarded both winner of the hackathon weekend and the pitching event prize.

We explored how to create alternative routes across the city that would reduce drivers’ carbon footprint and limit the harmful NOx gas emissions produce.

The team modelled likely emissions per vehicle, per road segment for every road in the city – even taking into account traffic lights, hills and zebra crossings.

Using this information, we created a prototype route planner web application which demonstrated an average drop in emissions of 22% per journey, in exchange for a modest increase in journey time.

We are now hopeful that something that was achieved in two days, might just go a long way to creating a greener city.