Late last month, ProgrammableWeb reported on the second annual Hackomotive competition presented by Edmunds.com. The annual three-day event brings together automakers, developers, and others in the automotive industry to develop new products that deliver a better car shopping experience. The winners of the 2014 Hackomotive contest have been announced, and Carcode.me, a Seattle company, took the top prize.
Teams participating in the contest used Edmunds’ APIs and other tools available on the Edmunds Developer Site to create applications that make car shopping easier for consumers. Each team was judged on five factors:
- Improvement to the existing car shopping process
- Perceived trustworthiness of the product
- Likelihood of real-world adoption
- Quality of product
- Quality of presentation
The Carcode.me team won the Hackomotive grand prize of $20,000.
Carcode.me took home the $20,000 grand prize for creating a website plugin that provides a phone number for car dealerships that mobile shoppers can text. The plugin also provides an app that makes it possible for dealerships to respond to and manage messages from mobile costomers. Carcode.me Co-founder Nick Gorton told ProgrammableWeb:
Carcodesms.com was thrilled to be part of this years Edmunds.com Hackomotive event. Obviously the outcome was great, but the experience the whole way through the event was excellent regardless of the outcome. We are looking forward to reinvesting the prize money into further developing the Carcode.me app and exploring a partnership with Edmunds.com.
The second-place $10,000 cash prize was awarded to team Au.to for its automotive-specific search engine, which is currently in development and will be coming soon. Adam Jansen of team Au.to told ProgrammableWeb:
Winning the customer challenge on Wednesday was the highlight of the event for us and really gives us that customer validation. Even though it was disappointing to not win (second is not too bad), it was a great learning experience and [we] are grateful that Hackomotive 2014 was AU.TO's unveiling to the world! We are looking forward to the continued guidance from some key industry players we met, and feel AU.TO's future is even brighter after this awesome event.
The $5,000 third-place cash prize went to team Showroom for a car shopping website that provides consumers a "visceral car research experience." Nick Sergeant of Showroom said:
Hackomotive was a phenomenal experience for our early-stage startup. We got to work with some of the best folks in the industry and they really helped us refine our product’s message and delivery. Hackomotive will help us propel http://showroom.is to be a leader in the car-research category.
The Hackomotive competition was created to help make shopping for and purchasing a car or truck—a major consumer purchase—as easy and pleasant as possible. Bringing together automobile industry innovators to come up with ideas and build better car-shopping applications is one of the methods that Edmunds has implemented to achieve that goal. Edmunds.com CEO Avi Steinlauf explained:
Each team zeroed on improving an element of car shopping which is consistent with our mission here at Edmunds.com and none of the solutions could have existed for dealers 20 years ago. The Carcode.me supports dealer/customer texting, Au.to is building an impressive automotive search engine, and Showroom maximizes the experience of researching cars online.
Check back with the official Hackomotive Web site to see the published results of the 2014 Hackomotive competition.
By Janet Wagner. Janet is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, open data, data visualization and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.