Auto/Mate Dealership Systems announced Monday that its team of five software developers came in first place and won a grand prize of $3,000 participating in the Hack Tech Valley Hackathon competition held at Schenectady County Community College in New York.
Sixteen teams of coders had 24 hours to come up with an innovative software application that would improve the efficiency of the Schenectady Sanitation System.
Auto/Mate said the teams were given GPS data for the fleet of garbage trucks along with instructions to solve one or more of the five challenges listed below:
- Provide greater visibility of the fleet to the community.
- Improve efficiency of the fleet.
- Allow city officials to project future maintenance needs and/or placement of resources.
- Highlight areas of the community for potential business development.
- Make it easy for community members to find locations and times for local events.
“Winning this competition shows our strength as a professional team,” said Tom Haley, one of Auto/Mate’s five team members and software development manager, in a news release. “At Auto/Mate, we already know what a good user interface (UI) looks like without having to do a bunch of iterations and tinkering.”
To tackle the first three challenges, Auto/Mate’s development team developed an application named Trashfinder that was presented to the competition’s panel of judges at the end of the 24 hours provided.
“Our application was chosen because they really liked our UI, and we made our app very user-friendly, geared towards the city officials and the community,” Haley said. “Compared to other applications, our solution was pretty polished, and every feature worked perfectly during the presentation, which was one of the criteria for a higher rating.”
The Trashfinder app is designed to let users know what time the garbage truck will arrive at their address and allows them to request a large item pickup.
Additionally, city officials can identify duplicate stops on multiple routes, as well as view service requests and the garbage fleet on Google Maps in real time, according to Auto/Mate.
“I am so proud of our developers for winning the first-ever Hack Tech Valley. Auto/Mate was proud to be a sponsor, and the Transfinder team did a great job of organizing and managing the event,” said the company’s human resources director David Druzynski. “This was a fun opportunity to bring the local development community together, both professionals and students, to network and showcase some of the amazing technical talent that we have right here in the Capital Region.”