The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has announced the six finalists of its inaugural City Architecture of Tomorrow Challenge (CATCH), which aims to address the mobility and city planning challenges of Kuala Lumpur.
Launched in February last year, CATCH is a global call to technology firms for dynamic, intelligent and data-driven solutions that would help the Malaysian capital to transition into a smart city.
The six finalists and their competing solutions are:
- GeoSpock (UK) - Analytics database technology enabling smart city data fusion to power advanced multimodal transport optimisation
- Hayden AI Technologies (US) - Artificial intelligence powered data platform that helps innovative cities to improve traffic safety and efficiency
- KERB (MY/AU) - P2P/B2B parking management platform to increase parking supply around transport hubs, track real-time data and optimize commuters' journeys
- Liftango (AU) - Defeating traffic congestion at the source: Demand-responsive first mile commuter transport in Bandar Sunway
- Numina (US) - Privacy-first computer vision solution to measure multimodal traffic flows and identify opportunities to improve pedestrian safety
- RUNWITHIT Synthetics (CA) - Synthetic KL, a live, geospatial, interconnected synthetic modelling environment for designing targeted, impactful mobility solutions
Strong response despite pandemic
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the CATCH received over 90 entries from 20+ countries. Entries that went on to the semi-finals obtained an understanding of Kuala Lumpur's mobility issues for their Proof of Concept (PoC) development over a 6-week period. An esteemed panel of 8 judges from various fields of expertise such as government, sustainable mobility, venture capital, technology, and industry virtually assessed the 16 semi-finalists.
After careful consideration and based on the feedback from the judges, TMF identified six teams as Finalists rather than five teams as originally planned. The following six teams are deemed to be best suited to CATCH's problem statement and the five assessment criteria of creativity, feasibility, sustainability, desirability and technicality. The semi-finals was completed last December.
"CATCH was designed to grasp ground breaking innovations, and we were impressed by the ideas of 16 strong semi-finalists who showcased new data driven mobility and city planning focused solutions,” said Pras Ganesh, director of programs at TMF.
He added: “Though it was very difficult to narrow down the selection, as Toyota Mobility Foundation, we are very excited about the six Finalists and what they can deliver in the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage to improve the quality of life of the residents of Kuala Lumpur."
Grant to develop PoCs
The six finalists will be further developing their MVPs, and at this stage each will receive a grant of US$125,000 of financial support to drive testing and implementation of intelligent data-driven, connected solutions, aimed at a more efficient, innovative, secure and sustainable city of Kuala Lumpur.
“"These entries show how amazing such innovations can be produced, and even thrive, when data is readily made available,” said Ir. Dr.Karl Ng, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
Yu Chuan Hock, director of urban transportation of KL City Hall (DBKL) echoed the same sentiment.
"Kuala Lumpur City Hall is looking forward to a practical and workable solution to be implemented to ease congestion and disperse traffic more effectively,” he said.
TMF will continue to work together with strategic partners including Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the MDEC and its data partners -- Prasarana, MapIT, and Grab -- to support the finalists until the selection of a final winner in April-May 2021. This support includes the financial grant by TMF and incubation and mentorship provided by experts and judges supporting the CATCH program.