Opportunity leads to innovation. CMU-A students secure Top 10 finalist position in Blockchain Innovation Challenge

Posted 27th March 2019

Mihir pondered what might happen if his car broke-down at night and he was stranded miles from anywhere in outback Australia.

Zaidul wondered how lost service records might impact on the value of a secondhand car when a potential buyer came to inspect.

The above two scenarios proved to be a ‘Eureka moment’ for enterprising Carnegie Mellon University students Zaidul Alam, (MSIT) and Mihir Gada, (MISM).

The friends asked themselves…..“What if there was a device that could in real-time report the health of my car....What if there was a platform that could automatically tell me when to service my car! What if there was a platform that could preserve my service records digitally!”

Reflecting on these questions, Zaidul and Mihir came up with the concept of ‘Wisecar’, a smart car real-time, secure data tracking and storage platform.

When talking over the ‘Wisecar’ platform concept with CMU-A’s Professor Riaz Esmailzadeh, he encouraged them to enter the ADC Global Blockchain Summit’s Blockchain Innovation Challenge which was offering up to $100,000 in startup seed funding and the opportunity to present to entrepreneurs and potential angel investors.

CMU-A Students Mihir and Zaidul present their Wisecar platform on stage.

ADC Forum is an independent, not-for-profit leadership organisation founded in 1996 by the Australian members of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The 2019 ADC Global Blockchain Summit, held in Adelaide in March, was a collaboration between ADC Forum and the South Australian Government. The international Summit was attended by entrepreneurs, financiers, regulators, researchers and innovators.

Blockchain Summit Innovation Challenge encouraged South Australian entrepreneurs to develop projects that use blockchain to improve operational efficiency, enable business model innovation, or influence how businesses, government and society interact.

To their absolute delight, Zaidul and Mihir’s Wisecar platform reached the finalist stage being shortlist as one of the top 10 entrants from nearly 50 entries.

As shortlist finalists, Zaidul and Mihir were able to participate in Challenge’s supporting incubation program hosted by Adelaide-based startup champions Kirk Drage and Kathryn Heaton at Leap Sheep.

‘Wisecar’ is a decentralized vehicle data tracking, servicing and trading platform which eliminates paper-based car service records.

‘Wisecar’ collects vehicle data, fault codes and locations using the OBD-II port, sends through sigfox (a low energy IoT communication network) network and stores in a cloud database.

In the case of a vehicle breakdown, crash, fault code detection or service due situation, the ‘Wisecar’ system sends data to the authorized service centres. After servicing the car, service centres log the service records in a decentralized and trusted blockchain network which can be verified and used for trading cars or future servicing.

CMU-A Students Mihir and Zaidul with Professor Riaz (left).

The Wisecar platform uses both blockchain network and off chain database. Vehicle telemetric data (fault code, run time, rpm, geo location etc.) and user subscription data will be stored in off chain database.

“Wisecar is a simple solution to a growing problem”, said Zaidul Alam who is studying a Master of Science in Information Technology degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Australia.

“The average age of a car in Australia is 10 years and generally in its lifetime will have three owners. There are three million used cars are bought and sold every year in Australia and by 2024 the global vehicle tracking market is projected to be worth $11 billion.

“Wisecar has the potential for major fleet owners and companies to save significant time, energy, resources and money every year.

“Wisecar converts every car into a smart car and predicts and monitors vehicle service and maintenance history and need – for private owners and fleet managers, said Zaidul.

“Wisecar provides owners and fleet operators with real-time information on how the vehicle is running. It will alert the owner or authorized service centre if there’s an engine fault, when the vehicle needs servicing and any out-of-the normal problems”, said Mihir Gada who is studying a Master of Science in Information Systems Management degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

“And what’s super exciting is that Wisecar can easily be adopted by the aviation, shipping and vehicle servicing industries giving them real-time data to track and manage their fleets more efficiently! A potential billion-dollar business!”, said Mihir.

While the CMU-A students didn’t take out the top prize at the Innovation Challenge they are still enthusiastic about advancing their Wisecar platform.

The other Blockchain Innovation Challenge Finalists were:

Protect Provenance SA Museum by SA Museum and Civic Ledger
This idea aims to use blockchain to preserve cultural artefacts that are currently held by the South Australian Museum.

Platfarm by Platfarm
A tool designed to enable farmers to determine the carbon content of their soil for environmental purposes.

REC Blockchain by REC Blockchain
Uses blockchain and smart contract technology to trade renewable energy.

ValAi by ValAi
Aims to improve the accessibility and accuracy of property valuations.

Wine security by Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association
A blockchain solution which aims to ensure the provenance of wine.

Twohands by NextFaze
Uses smart tags to authenticate food provenance exports.

Building Passport by Yup Yup Labs
A central repository of all information relating to buildings and land.

Seraph by Wright Technologies
Aims to improve accuracy and reliability of location data of drones.

Flying Fox by CryptoCate
A platform for educating South Australian students on blockchain technology.

The winners were Wine security by Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association and Seraph by Wright Technologies.

The ADC Blockchain Top 10 Finalists