In 18-19 July 2015 the Crowdhackathon #transport took place at Innovathens, Technopolis. Manolis Nikiforakis, Stratos Theodorou and Vassilis Chryssos of Ex Machina participated and created the Transport ex Machina service, during the two days of the contest. This project won the first prize in the hackathon, among 25 teams and 130 developers who participated.

Our proposed platform introduces digital content services in means of public transportation. (Public) Transportation vehicles are places:

  • with high crowd density
  • where people spend (mostly) idle time
  • which are moving across the city network

The traditional outreach tools towards the passenger audience (audio announcements, led screens, add posters) are today highly inadequate and provide a very limited scope of communication. On the other hand the passenger throughput is effectively large to justify a different approach of interaction.

At the same time passengers consider the travel duration as an idle, (mostly) wasted time and are feeling bored and at times frustrated.

Transport ex Machina™ addresses these problems, both from the company’s and the passenger’s view by introducing an on-board WiFi hotspot, which provides location-based services for the passengers. The hotspot connects to the Internet via GSM/3G and provides regularly updated, location-sensitive, off-line content to the end-user. Combined with a ‘traditional’ journey planner solution, this service creates a powerful environment from which both the company and the passengers can benefit.

We showcased our implementation hack during the #transport hackathon utilizing open-source software and hardware, i.e. OpenTripPlanner, OpenStreetMap, Piratebox, Arduino, RaspberryPi.

Transport ex Machina Public Transportation Hotspot

Here is the source code of our hack, free for any one to use it along with a tutorial explaining how to build it with Athens transport data!


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