MWCB hosts an international hackathon on smart mobility in Barcelona

01 Jun 2021 | Network Updates | Update from Mobile World Capital Barcelona
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

  • The aim of this project is to take advantage of the capabilities of 5G technology to create a more sustainable, safe and efficient railway

  • The hackathon will take place between June 25 and 27 and will happen online

  • It is an initiative of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Vodafone and the collaboration of WorldStartup, within the framework of 5G Barcelona

5G Smart Railway Hackathon” begins with the aim of finding innovative ideas that take advantage of the services offered by 5G technology to improve rail transport. The international hackathon, promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Vodafone and the collaboration of WorldStartup, will be held from 25 to 27 June and will help transform the railway into a more sustainable, safe and efficient public transport. 

The initiative, established within the framework of 5G Barcelona, is divided into two stages; the first part, which will be launched on May 31, is a specially designed program with a duration of four weeks to prepare teams with technical content of different subjects related to smart mobility (design thinking, business, new technologies, entertainment, etc.), through an online collaboration platform. And the second part, which consists of the core of this hackathon, where participants will interact with the mentors to reach innovative ideas that can become pilot projects and therefore improve the railway field.

The project is designed to involve professionals with an interest in innovation, transportation, 5G technology and user experience. Participants can register individually or in teams at the following link by the 13th of June: In addition, the winning team will receive a prize of 2,000 euros and the implementation of the idea within the 5G Railway Lab with the support of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya and WorldStartup.

According to Eduard Martín, director of the 5G program at Mobile World Capital and CEO of 5G Barcelona: "One of the main objectives of the Foundation is to innovate and consequently improve the lives of citizens, positioning Barcelona as one of the most important European technology hubs." He added: "In this sense, we believe that sustainable and well-connected transport is a fundamental element for any capital, and this is precisely what this project seeks."

Laura Molist, Vodafone's territorial director in Catalonia and Aragon, said: “The transport and tourism sectors are two of the most affected by the pandemic and need, now more than ever, to embark on a path based on digitalisation and integration of new technologies. The 5G Smart Railway Hackathon initiative comes at the right time to help locate projects that, taking advantage of this innovative technology, develop new applications and more interactive, virtual and personalized business models. 5G will bring us new business models, but also new ways of working and innovating through co-creation and a necessary collaboration between public and private entities. "

Ricard Font, the president of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, assured that “the great leap of 5G over the previous generation is, in addition to technological change, which represents a facilitator of change in mobility: it will generate more intermodality between mobile operators and micro-mobility, will be more connected with other air operators, parcel, traditional trade, culture, nature, sports, city. Open and shared data mobility. 5G will make possible 100% punctuality of our service, making breakdowns predictive, removing barriers at stations, opening up new possibilities for experiences within trains, at stations and around mobility stations. In addition to facilitating that our daily operations can reach the maximum excellence. This experience should also allow us to experiment with new ways to move forward and collaborate with innovative initiatives for the mobility sector. We take the risk shared with innovators and entrepreneurs looking for a travel companion in Ferrocarrils, already keeping an eye on 6G”.

Daniël Steginga, Lab Director at WorldStartup "The goal of the 5G Smart Railway Hackathon is to provide awareness about the specifications, advantages and limitations of the new technology as well as to improve and bring a new life to a well-established transportation system such as the railway. It aims to promote more sustainable public means of transportation while accommodating it to the current changing safety and comfort standards."

The 5G laboratory in Plaza España at Europa Fira

Last year, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, ​​Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Generalitat de Catalunya and Vodafone already installed commercial 5G coverage on part of their railway network, specifically between Plaça Espanya and Europa Fira stations. It is one of the first railway infrastructures with a commercial 5G network that covers not only the station, but also the tunnel that connects the 4 stops.

5G coverage is available at the FGC stations in Plaça Espanya, Magòria-La Campana, Ildefons Cerdà and Europa Fira, with coverage on the platforms and halls of the departure and arrival stations and also on the entire route between the stations of Europa Fira and Fira 2, where the venue is located.

The connected section was born with the aim of being a 5G railway laboratory with two functions. On one hand, to explore industrial solutions, railway mobility, logistics, management and control of passenger or freight movements. On the other hand, seek and test disruptive solutions that have a direct impact on FGC users and help improve their experience on a functional level.

This article was first published on May 21 by MWCB.

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