Bangalore, 4th February 2024: Reinforcing the road safety and coinciding with the ‘Road Safety Month (18th Jan – 17th Feb 2024),Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) today announced the successful culmination of 24 hours Toyota Hackathon, held at the RV Institute of Technology and Management, Bangalore. The stage event of the 24 Hours-Hackathon was presided by the Chief Guests – Shri. H C Balakrishna, MLA Magadi & Chairman – Karnataka Road Development Limited, Government of Karnataka, Shri. Sharath Bache Gowda, Chairman – Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS), Government of Karnataka, Guest of Honour – Shri. J. Purushotham, Additional Commissioner for Transport & Director – Road Safety Cell, Transport Department, Government of Karnataka, Special Invitee – Mr Brijesh Agarwal, Vice President- Operations at Consero Global & Assistant Chief Traffic Warden, along with TKM’s Senior Executive – Mr. Sudeep S. Dalvi, Chief Communication Officer & Senior Vice President and Director, and other key dignitaries.
Education and Road Safety is one of the key pillars of TKM’s core CSR. Through this initiative, TKM focuses to drive the inventive minds of the students (class 9th to 12th standard) from across various private and government schools as well as colleges based in Bangalore. The Toyota Hackathon provided a dynamic platform, divided into three engaging phases, where students showcased their creativity, innovation, and prototype development of practical digital solutions aimed to promote road safety. Further, this program underscores the strong efforts of the company’s contribution to the vision of ‘Zero Road Fatalities’ through ingenuity of young minds, by empowering future generations to develop actionable road safety solutions.
India with its vast population and diverse road networks, experiences a high number of road accidents annually. The report for calendar year 2022* reveals that the number of road accidents, the number of persons killed, and the number of injuries has increased compared to previous years by 11.9%, 9.4% and 15.3% respectively. Further, young adults in the age group of 18 – 45 years accounted for 66.5 per cent of the fatal road accident victims during 2022.
(*As per the publication ‘Road Accidents in India 2022’, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways – Transport Research Wing, Govt. of India)
In this direction, the Toyota Hackathon (initiated in 2018) acts as a catalyst to include road safety in the school & college curriculums, and thereby encourage children to become critical thinkers, further develop solutions for modern-day road safety challenges. This helps to unlock the hidden talents of young minds, empowering them to make significant contributions to the vital cause of road safety. Further, by actively engaging students, it seeks to develop them to become ‘Change Agents’, playing a crucial role in bringing about a positive behavioural change in the community at large. Furthermore, this initiative provides an ideal platform, encouraging the future generation to leverage their knowledge and technical expertise to address high-priority issues effectively.
Sharing his views about the Toyota Hackathon, Shri. H C Balakrishna, MLA Magadi & Chairman – Karnataka Road Development Limited, Government of Karnataka, said, “It is important to identify and tackle the root causes of road accidents in a comprehensive manner and the youths can play a critical role as change makers and become road safety champions. I am truly impressed by the innovative spirit and dedication showcased through the ideation and prototypes developed by the students at participating schools and colleges at Toyota Hackathon. Further, it is commendable to witness TKM’s commitment towards fostering road safety by creating the right platform to engage and empower the young minds and at grassroot level.
The government acknowledges the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing road safety challenges, and initiatives like these is essential to deploy the creative potential of our future road users and drive a impactful positive change amongst the community as well”.
Present at the Toyota Hackathon, Shri. Sharath Bache Gowda, Chairman, Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS) – Government of Karnataka, said, “We commend Toyota Kirloskar Motor for their proactive efforts in promoting road safety through their well-designed initiative like the Toyota Hackathon, encouraging the youths to express their innovative ideas and develop prototypes which can support to address the road safety challenges faced in today’s world.
The government recognizes the pivotal role that collaborative initiatives like this play in leveraging the creativities and engaging the young minds to influence the society in positive way with good road behaviour. Such endeavours contribute significantly to the shared goal of reducing road accidents & ensuring the safety of the citizens, and Toyota’s efforts in this direction is truly appreciated”.
During the academic year 2023-24, 62 students comprising of 31 teams registered for the Toyota Hackathon. The program’s innovation themes actively covered a broad spectrum of seven road safety challenges – “Road Safety Awareness and Education”; “Community Engagement for Safety”; “School Zone Safety”; “Road Infrastructure and Pollution”; “IoT/ICT in Road Safety”; “Traffic Easement” & “Making Roads Inclusive”.
The first phase of the Toyota Hackathon 2024, kicked off with students submitting a 200-word concept note about their new ideas on road safety. Out of which, the qualifying students consisting of 25 teams were invited to an onsite, one-day boot camp in Bangalore during Jan 2024, where they honed their best ideas and presentation skills, preparing for the on-ground Hackathon. In the second phase, students further re-submitted a 300-word revised concept note, showcasing the evolution and refinement of their initial proposed ideas. The culminating phase featured the 2-day onsite, 24 hours Hackathon held in Bangalore, which offered technical mentorship by experts and industry professional to build prototype basis the ideation submitted during the first phase of the Hackathon. The jury members comprised of representatives and officials from Bangalore Traffic Police; Mindzwork Bangalore; Transportation Systems Engineering (TSE); IISc Sustainable Transportation Lab (IST Lab); R V Institute of Technology and Management – Bangalore; Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP); Traffic Training & Road Safety Institute; Infosys; Media and Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP).
Out of 10 competing teams, three final top winning teams were announced that constituted Delhi Public School (1st prize winners – Dev Vats & Eshaan Godbole) – Bangalore; Delhi Public School (2ndprize winners – Anay Lohani & Angad S.K) – Bangalore; and Karnataka Public School (3rd prize winners – Apoorva A.S & Asha A.R) – Bangalore. The consolation prize winners consisted of Soundarya Central School, Bangalore (1st Consolation – Abhishek Gowda B.S & Amogh Rao) and Podar International School, Bangalore (2nd Consolation – Naresh Patel & Kushal V).
Commenting on the Toyota Hackathon initiative, Mr. Sudeep S. Dalvi, Chief Communication Officer and Senior Vice President & Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “At Toyota, our commitment to road safety extends beyond manufacturing of safe cars; we strive to grow in tandem with society and enrich the lives of the communities we serve by promoting road safety and instilling behavioural change in them. Our journey towards raising awareness on road safety dates to 2007, reaching 790,000 students thus far through various road safety initiatives, focusing on school children, and developing them to become ‘road safety ambassadors’, thereby inculcating the positive change amongst the people. In this direction, Toyota Hackathon is an extended program aimed to provide a platform to school children (class 9th – 12th) to emerge as ‘Solution Providers’, to promote road safety. This unique road safety initiative contributes to enhance a strong connect with the young minds to demonstrate their creativity, developing solutions towards improving road safety and advance their sustainable development as future safety champions.
As we mark the successful culmination of the 24-Hours Toyota Hackathon, we are truly inspired by the creativity and dedication displayed by the school and college students. This important initiative stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to ensuring ‘People’s Safety on Road’. Our heartfelt thanks to all the students, teachers, faculties, educational institutes, and esteemed authorities for joining hands with us and their strong encouragement and participation in this important Toyota Hackathon program”.
During the awarding ceremony, the key dignitaries along with TKM senior executive presented the ‘Certificate of Participation’ and exciting ‘Prizes’ to the top 10 finalists and top three winning teams of Toyota Hackathon, appreciating the students’ enthusiasm and contributions as road safety champions.
Going forward, TKM will further evaluate the incubation support to the Toyota Hackathon finalists’ and continue to explore the possibilities of the prototype implementation, thereby promote road safety.