– Sandilya Konduri, Head of Product, Yulu
What do you get when a bunch of e-mobility enthusiasts come together to solve some of the most interesting mobility tech problems for 2 days straight? Add to the mix boatloads of energy drinks, sleepless nights, disagreements with your teammates (most of whom work in different Yulu verticals), and possibly at the end of it all, finding common ground to make Yulu’s vision of mobility better for the masses.
Yulu’s vision is to make urban commute smart, seamless and sustainable. In the pursuit of this goal, we continuously strive to find innovative and pragmatic solutions to numerous challenges faced by mobility today – be it traffic congestion, vehicular pollution, lack of multimodal connectivity or affordable mobility for all. We are at the forefront of making available new mobility options for millions of people.
Now, as we move into a new phase of supercharged growth in our journey, we wanted to renew the vigour and zest that had initially brought our different teams together. And have them ready to tackle the next set of challenges that would make mobility in India inclusive, affordable, and more impactful with future technologies.
In the same vein, we organised the first edition of Yulu Crunch, (YuC in short!), a 42-hour internal hackathon held in our office premises from December 1-3, 2022. The participants experienced a flurry of emotions, from the excitement of starting to solve a problem to slight blues when they realised the scope and scale of the problems they had to cope with, and present with a workable solution in just two days.
While some teams were breaking their heads, some breaking the keys of their laptops, some trying to relieve the stress by watching the FIFA world cup, and some just stress bingeing, in the true Unstoppable spirit of Yulu, the teams persevered.
By the night of Day 1, the teams could understand the massive task ahead of them. It was not only about finding the right solution, but also about working out a prototype model that can be implemented in a real-world scenario.
Some teams were confident of the solution they were working on, some teams were still arguing with their solution flow over to the next day, there were teams that were readying massive amounts of data sets to test their hypothesis, and some team members who just decided to sleep off the night waiting for inspiration!
Let us take a glimpse at some of the exciting problems that our different teams took a crack at during the 1st edition of YuC:
The problem statements the teams had to grapple were one of the following four.
- To enter Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) in an all-new market as a scalable solution.
- To increase the operational efficiency and have cost synergies in the businesses warehouse operations.
- To make Yulu an enticing destination for end-to-end customer journey by integrating mid-mile public transport services like the Metro & City Bus services.
- To have an active fleet of EVs always on the road using technological solutions predicting demand, maintenance and downtime.
We had 3 motives for doing YuC:
- To engage different Yulu verticals with mobility tech problems that we’re deeply passionate about, trying to look at quirkier solutions to them
- Open up collaboration amongst several teams to solve a problem in full throttle
- And last but not least , identify and expose non-tech teams to the world of technology & solving for mobility tech problems
By the beginning of day 3, amidst glazy eyes, numerous beer-bells later, and dreams (or nightmares for some😉) of the next logic in their problem statement, the teams came up with some amazing and innovative scenarios.
Let’s look at the top two winning solutions that our teams were able to hack in the course of the past 2 days (and nights!)
Winners – Team “What the Hack!”
One of the most important aspects for a fleet owner is to have constant vigilance on all assets that they possess. Our winning team has solved this critical problem where the issue will get thoroughly addressed. Leveraging the application of technology that has been used by dating apps , this team has come up with a hack to “find my friend” and enable fleet operators to get an update on the current location, when a bike has not communicated with our servers. We will take this solution to the market and are expecting a significant jump in the availability of fleet for our customers.
Runner’s Up – Team “Terminator”
This team worked on solving end-to-end planning for Multi Model journeys. They picked data from New Delhi to demonstrate this on an application. The algorithm combines multiple modes – walk , Yulu , buses & metros to compute the most optimal route for anyone to execute between a source and destination. We will be taking this to market by collaborating with the Delhi & Bengaluru metro departments providing users an end-to-end journey plan with a single checkout experience.
And let’s hear from a couple of winning team members.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of a team that had people from different verticals. Our team, What the Hack!, picked the problem of PNR (ping not received), where we lose access to the location of our vehicles on road. It was super interesting to see how everyone had a unique approach to the problem at hand. We used the learnings from our day-to-day operations and technology to design a solution that won us the first prize. We are beyond elated to see our solution get implemented!
– Kopal, UX Writer, Team What the Hack!
This was my first hackathon. My team, Terminator, chose to work on Mobility-as-a-Service as a means of having multi-modal connectivity. I don’t have any idea about coding, so I acted as a customer to my team and narrated what I wanted to see in a MaaS app😂. So I helped with the UI design. I also worked on some data requirements. We used “Khuni Darwaza”, a monument in Delhi for location searching in our demo which attracted everyone’s attention. It was really a great learning experience. Waiting for the next hackathon!
– Afifa, Program Manager, Team Terminator
Going forward, our dream is to make YuC an open hackathon event, and open it up for people beyond Yulu, so that everyone can contribute to a better future of mobility.
See you in the next edition of YuC!