In February 2017, our team met at the MARTA Hackathon to work on data-powered technology to provide paratransit autonomy for persons with disabilities. Three front- and back-end developer teammates used historical data to build the web app to interface with the passengers, drivers, and dispatchers. My other teammate and I researched on legal implications and proof of concept, respectively. After 24 grinding hours, we were recognized for honorable mention.
Five months later, we entered the AT&T Civic Coding Competition, co-hosted by the City of Atlanta and Code for Atlanta. This time, we were challenged with the idea that if node data were provided by Current, Powered by GE -- how would we build something that helped our city? Exactly the right challenge! By now, we had another 2 members join with machine learning experience. We were no longer relying on historical data alone. We would build smarter with real-time data. After 2.5 months of development, 1 elimination round, and pitching to a 5-judge panel, we won first place for $40,000!