Microsoft employees contribute to Seattle’s ‘Hack the Commute’

Microsoft employees contribute to Seattle's 'Hack the Commute'

Long commutes are a drag, especially if you are a biker who needs a bus with a free spot on their bike rack. This is a common situation in Seattle where bikers may wait through several busses because the bike racks are full, so a group of developers made a team as a part of “Hack the Commute” to try and fix this issue. Team Bikeraxx focused on the bus bike rack shortage and how to gather the data cities need to assess their bike transportation capability. 

How did team Bikeraxx solve this issue? With sensors, an Intel Edison board, and a smartphone. These pieces of technology enabled the team to take a photo when buses arrive and send the photo to the cloud for processing. The photo will be used to judge how full the bike rack is on any particular bus. The city can use this data to adjust their bussing schedule to better accommodate bikers.

This is just one example of how different teams have used technology to help the city gather data on how people commute. The Internet of Things plays a big role when it comes to cities better understanding the way citizens behave every day. Better knowledge about traffic flow, congestion, or new issues which pop up can help city officials direct resources to do more with the same amount of resources.

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