The city of Austin, Texas has announced the winning pilot proposals for its City:One Challenge, created by Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co., and sponsored by AT&T, Dell Technologies, and Microsoft.
The winners – produce delivery service Good Apple and navigation app Tappy Guide – successfully collaborated with Austin residents to identify transportation challenges and propose new ways to improve mobility and increase access to health in their community. The winning teams will split $150,000 in funding to test the implementation of their proposals in a real-world setting.
Good Apple partners with local farmers to rescue fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go unsold, inspect, package, and deliver it to local families. By delivering food directly to families’ homes, Good Apple hopes to create a reliable, healthy service that also gives valuable time back to working families.
Tappy Guide provides navigation guides for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, senior citizens, and others with mobility impairments. In addition to offering guides for indoor and outdoor locations, Tappy Guide employs live advisors who can provide people the comfort of interacting with a real person to truly understand their surroundings and accessibility needs.
“How wonderful that our city will now realize and benefit from the vision of these standout, local winners of the City:One Challenge,” says Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “Austin is an incubator of innovation and I love that some of our newest and best ideas have now been crowd-sourced.”
Further support for Good Apple and Tappy Guide will be provided by the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas, which will offer in-kind services and membership to its incubator to the two challenge winners.
Launched in Austin in June, the City:One Challenge is a crowd-sourcing platform created by Ford to help prepare cities for the future by identifying new mobility designs and innovations that could improve the way people get around their city. The platform brought together government officials, local residents, startups and entrepreneurs in an effort to understand mobility issues and design solutions.
“The selection of these winners wouldn’t be possible without the participation of Austin residents who brought up issues and put forward solutions based on their real-life experience of their city,” says Jeff Jones, vice president of Ford City Solutions. “For our cities to be successful, it’s crucial that local residents, businesses, and governments all come together to identify opportunities for innovation – and our City:One Challenge is designed to do just that.”
After hosting a series of workshops with east Austin community members, City:One Challenge received more than 150 unique proposals for mobility solution pilots to address access to health. The challenge’s steering committee, comprised of mobility industry experts, healthcare organizations, community leaders, and local residents, selected 12 finalists. The finalists had the opportunity to work with the Austin Technology Incubator and participate in community immersion and racial equity experiences to further refine their proposals before the winners were selected.
Throughout the City:One Challenge, community members, finalists, and other participants were encouraged to consider solutions that thoughtfully integrate the needs of the east Austin community while addressing the history of racial inequality there. The challenge specifically asked the entrepreneurial community to submit proposals that would make an immediate impact in east Austin. Key opportunities included supporting families with mobility issues during unexpected health events; making it easier for people of color and immigrants to trust mobility services; delivering healthcare and health services to people when and where they wanted it; and better connecting neighborhoods to local health and transit hubs.
“The identified opportunities attracted creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and community advocates who wanted to pair their technologies with community insights, allowing us to continue to seek equitable access to health and transportation services for all Austinites,” says Rob Spillar, director of the Austin Transportation Department. “We look forward to working with these challenge finalists to address mobility and access to healthy living in east Austin.”