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Word from Richard
Welcome to another Weekly Wrap from Wejo.
This week our Manchester offices have burst into life with people, music and bright lights as part of our first ever in-person Hackathon event, produced together with our partners at Palantir.
This kind of event is exactly what I see as the soul of Wejo – a young company, changing the world and the way we move, putting excitement and anticipation into connected vehicle data and producing game-changing results that make full use of the incredible power it holds. Over the course of two days, teams of around six people have been working with Wejo data and the Palantir Foundry platform, hand-in-hand with their counterparts, iterating creative solutions to the biggest challenges we face in the mobility space.
To set the scene a little, let’s consider the massive upheaval across the entire mobility landscape and the global efforts to tackle the escalating climate crisis that are reshaping the way people get around. Most obvious is the increasing focus of car manufacturers on developing electric and hydrogen vehicles, as evidenced by the vast array of new EV products unveiled at the IAA Mobility event in Munich. With this industrywide shift to electric comes another new challenge in the form of underdeveloped recharging infrastructure. Throw in record levels of congestion and pollution, the trend towards urbanisation, and the immense complexity of enabling autonomous vehicles, and you get a sense of the task ahead and the massive potential for forward thinkers to make a huge impact in this industry.
It is these very issues that were on the minds of our Hackathon teams this week as they tackled themes such as: ‘The shocking truth about EV’, ‘It ain’t easy being green’, ‘Roads are for bikes, not cars’, and ‘Looking for gold in the data swamp’. After a gruelling 32 hours of coding, programming and drinking copious amounts of Red Bull, the teams had pulled together some really inspiring results. What impressed the Dragon’s Den-style panel of judges most was how the teams went beyond the remit of the theme, combining connected vehicle data with other available data, to find solutions for the entire mobility spectrum that could actually become viable products today. The winners took home a brand-new phone as just reward for their efforts, whilst all participants received a swag bag of Wejo x Palantir Hackathon 2021-branded merchandise including hoodies, t-shirts, notepads, drinks bottles and a pair of Airpods too.
The success of this event has certainly inspired us to press ahead with more events like this and make them a regular occurrence. I’d also like to extend my thanks to our partners at Palantir who supported a great event, and of course congratulate all the teams on their outstanding efforts throughout the hack. We made sure to document the event on our social media channels too, so please check out our Wejo Twitter page where you’ll find videos of the livestreams and short interviews with key figures in the hacks telling us what they were up to.
Finally, to cap off the crazy week, we ended Thursday with the Wejo Summer Party, a chance to get all our people together for a bit of downtime, socialising and getting to know each other. The entire team has been moving mountains over the past few months, every department pulling together to create the great products and solutions that have helped attract our investment from partners like Microsoft, Palantir, Sompo and GM, and therefore our annual party was a good time to let our hair down for a night and recharge the batteries a bit. We’re already looking forward to the next one in 2022!
All in all, a manic but very satisfying week. That’s it for this edition of the Wrap, have a great weekend and we’ll catch you next time.