Uber announces winners of HackTag 2.0 to unlock Indian innovations

Over 34,000 engineering student innovators participated in the hackathon from across India.
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Uber Technologies has announced the winners of the Uber HackTag 2.0 on Monday, for creating the next big innovation prototype that will reimagine the way the world moves for the better. 

Executed in partnership with Dare2Compete, a social community engagement platform, HackTag 2.0 witnessed participation of over 34,000 engineering student innovators and builders from across India. 

The participants were required to devise innovative solutions for Uber’s next billion users. The top three winners were rewarded with cash prizes worth Rs 5 lakh (subject to applicable taxes). 

Team Xsparks

The first prize of Rs 2.5 lakh was awarded to team Xsparks, from KIET Group of Institutions (KIET), Ghaziabad, 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.

Team YellowPlatedCoders

The second prize of Rs 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 Rs 1 lakh was awarded to team CodeLite, from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS), Pilani, Hyderabad Campus whose innovation revolved around adding emergency care services as a new category to the already existing Uber application.

Team CodeLite

Jayaram Valliyur, Senior Director, Engineering at Uber, said, 

“This two-month long hackathon, centered around ‘Building solutions for the next billion users’, brought together some of the brightest young engineering minds from across India. It was an absolute pleasure for us at Uber to engage with them, and be a part of the evaluation process. We are committed to giving access and opportunities to budding talent towards developing meaningful ideas and solutions in India. The right mentorship and direction will go a long way in setting them up for success, and innovating purposefully.” 

Engineering students from across India 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 innovations were translated into demostrable outcomes with mentor guidance. The jury consisted of Uber’s Tech leadership team in India.

The hackathon was open to all India-based engineering students pursuing a full-time BTech/BE/MTech/ME (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.
Edited by Anju Narayanan

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