Saritha Rai at Bloomberg Technology: “In Bangalore, tech giants and startups typically spend their days fiercely battling each other for customers. Now they are turning their attention to a common enemy: the Indian city’s infernal traffic congestion.
Cross-town commutes that can take hours has inspired Gridlock Hackathon, a contest initiated by Flipkart Online Services Pvt. for technology workers to find solutions to the snarled roads that cost the economy billions of dollars. While the prize totals a mere $5,500, it’s attracting teams from global giants Microsoft Corp., Google and Amazon.com. Inc. to local startups including Ola.
The online contest is crowdsourcing solutions for Bangalore, a city of more than 10 million, as it grapples with inadequate roads, unprecedented growth and overpopulation. The technology industry began booming decades ago and with its base of talent, it continues to attract companies. Just last month, Intel Corp. said it would invest $178 million and add more workers to expand its R&D operations.
The ideas put forward at the hackathon range from using artificial intelligence and big data on traffic flows to true moonshots, such as flying cars.
The gridlock remains a problem for a city dependent on its technology industry and seeking to attract new investment…(More)”.