New Delhi - More than $60,000 in prize money was up for grabs in the first ever Ford IMCS Competition, held in Morocco.
New Delhi – More than $60,000 in prize money was up for grabs in the first ever Ford IMCS Competition, held in Morocco.
The much anticipated list of the winners was released November 4, at the Studio des Arts Vivants, in Casablanca.
The event was held in Morocco to resolve taxi non-functionality and time delays. Developers from Morocco and around the world participated in the challenge and contributed to one of the longest innovative mobility challenge series ever.
The challenge was to create an app that will maximize the benefits of ride sharing for taxi passengers, utilizing a system which is easier and operates in a manner which is both cost and time efficient. In other words, to create a Smartphone application that will help Morocco’s taxi drivers book seats more quickly and efficiently.
The Grand Prize of USD $15000 was awarded to HeyTaxi developers Younes Benaomar, 24 years old, and Ashraf Benaomar, from Casablanca. Second Prize of USD $7000 was won by Indian national, Chaitanya Amin, for his Smartcab application. The Third Prize of USD $3000 was won by ChedliTaxi developers, Mohammed Bakr Sikal and Ali Hammouda, of Rabat, who were also awarded the USD $1000 popular choice award.
Taxiya (My Taxi) developer Tarik, from Rabat, was awarded Best Mini-Challenge Solution of USD $3000. Dominique Meroux, from California, was awarded the OpenXC Integration Prize for his SMS Taxi app. The SUPINFO Scholarship Award of USD $30,000 was awarded to Abderrahim Lahrach, from Casablanca, and Abdel Hakim Lahrach.
The Challenge was organized online via Devpost, the Online Hackathon platform. Hundreds of developers from all over the globe participated in the challenge, which saw approximately 33 projects submitted for consideration. A total number of 840 developers registered for the Ford IMCS app making Hackathon.
Grand Prize Winners – The Two Brothers, Younes Benaomar (Founder – Interative Object) and Ashraf Benaomar (Developer – Interactive Object) won the Grand Prize of $15000.
“We specialize in design and development for interactive application. We created the service HeyTaxi for the challenge and won the first prize. It was part of our R&D as ‘Proof of concept’ to use artificial intelligence to solve the transportation problem as part of Ford Challenge” Said Younes Benaomar.
Second Prize winner – Chatainya Amin
Chatinaya Amin is an app developer from India. As the challenge was open to developers of all nationalities, this Indian developer made India proud by winning the second prize for coding and designing the SmartCab application.
Third Prize and Popular Choice Prize Winners – ChedliTaxi Team: Mohammed Bakr Sikal and Ali Hammouda, two young Moroccan entrepreneurs.
“We are very happy to be the winners in this competition (third prize and the popular choice award). The contest was an opportunity to share our idea with friends and professionals in the transportation field who gave us constructive feedback. We are currently working on optimizing our application and making some final adjustments before launching it. We are hoping that the Ministry of Transportation will be supportive and that taxi drivers will collaborate with us to make this project a success.”
SUFINO Scholarship Prize Winner – Abderrahim Lahrach (23) an MBA Graduate and AbdelhakimLahrach (25) a Stack Developer will certainly benefit from the scholarship.
“This was our first competition, so we were really excited about it. We are really proud of our accomplishment and we’re looking to engaging in upcoming challenges. I sincerely thank everyone who helped make it happen,” said Rahim.
Abderrahim lahrach is a young entrepreneur and professional digital marketer. His role in this challenge was brainstorming ideas and functionalities, making sure that the app was user friendly.
Abdelhakim Lahrach is a full stack developer. He said: “I build the app with the Ionic framework, it’s a front-end SDK for building cross-platform mobile apps, which means that this app can be run on android as well as iOS phones”
The developers asked the government to play a leading role in lending needed support for solving the transportation problem, “The public transportation mess in Morocco is huge. We as students can’t waste all day travelling to the university. As you know technology can do wonders and this initiative by Ford should be appreciated, government should help these start-ups positively,” said Sarah Naam – Masters Student at University of Hassan I.
Edited by Constance Guindon