India’s builders and innovators need a supportive ecosystem to thrive and flourish. Mentoring, and spotlighting the right talent is key to promoting a culture of innovation. At Uber, we are committed to nurturing it so that we can provide access and opportunities to our budding talent towards developing meaningful ideas, solutions, and innovating purposefully.
Initiated last year, Uber HackTag is designed to test the coding skills of India’s future builders and innovators. Earlier this year, on February 7, we launched its second edition, HackTag 2.0, and announced its winners today. Executed in partnership with Dare2Compete, a social community engagement platform, we were pleased to see the enthusiastic participation of over 34k engineering student innovators from across India.
This two-month long hackathon, centred around ‘Building solutions for the next billion users’, brought together some of the brightest young engineering minds. They were required to devise innovative solutions for Uber’s next billion users. The top three winners were rewarded with cash prizes worth ₹5 Lakhs (subject to applicable taxes).
The first prize of INR 2.5 Lakh was awarded to team Xsparks, from Ghaziabad’s KIET Group of Institutions, for innovating on z-index and its use cases for Uber. Using the power of AR core, the team developed a model which enables users to locate a point of interest and guide them to that point accurately, without the need for a continuous internet connection.
The second prize of INR 1.5 Lakh was awarded to team YellowPlatedCoders, from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), ISM, Dhanbad whose innovation revolved around deploying an in-vehicle driver monitoring system to prevent road accidents. Using computer vision and machine learning, the team developed a working prototype that alerts drivers in case drowsiness, face movements and single-handed driving is detected.
The third prize of INR 1 Lakh was awarded to team CodeLite, from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS), Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. Their innovation revolved around adding emergency care services as a new category to the existing Uber app.
The participants went through four rigorous rounds to put their coding skills to test. Round one involved an online quiz, followed by an online coding challenge for shortlisted teams comprising 3965 students in Round 2. In Round 3, the shortlisted 145 teams were provided with a problem statement to build a solution prototype which was tested on shortlisting criteria, including but not limited to innovation, completeness, etc. The Fourth and Final Round gave the top 10 finalist teams exclusive access to mentors from Uber for consultation while they built and tool up their prototypes. Their bold innovations were translated into demostrable outcomes with mentor guidance. The jury consisted of Uber’s Tech leadership team in India.
Designed to nurture a culture of innovation across the organization and within the ecosystem, the hackathon was open to all India-based engineering students pursuing a full-time B.Tech./B.E./M.Tech./M.E. (all years), degree across branches. It’s aimed at arming them with the opportunity to gauge their growth, innovative mindset, and be a part of a prestigious cohort that will receive industry-relevant mentorship from experts at Uber.