ATD Hackathon Takes on Tire Industry to 'Reinvent the Wheel' - Tire Review Magazine

ATD Hackathon Takes on Tire Industry to ‘Reinvent the Wheel’

The Reinvent the Wheel Data Hackathon, sponsored by ATD, challenged hackers to create technology that would disrupt the tire industry.

Reinvent the wheel hackathon ATD

In an empty warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina in late March, fresh college graduates, young professionals, established data scientists sporting Ph.D.s and experienced developers hacked throughout the night at Reinvent the Wheel Data Hackathon sponsored by American Tire Distributors (ATD).

The goal for the hackathon’s participants was to create technology that would be a disruption in the tire industry. Their task was to take vehicle registration data, historical sales figures and demographic data and put it into an algorithm that could alter the way the industry buys and sells tires. Partnered with ATD resources and support, 85 participants in 17 teams were tasked to build a machine learning model that accurately predicts units of sale for a particular distribution center for a specific tire category.

“This event gave us an opportunity to develop new approaches to old problems, as well as recruit top talent to the Charlotte area,” said Tim Eisenmann, chief analytics officer and senior vice president of advanced analytics for ATD. “We are excited to improve upon the best models from the competition and use them to create value for our customers.”

After an overnight marathon, the top five teams were selected to present their solutions to a panel of judges, including Stuart Schuette, president and CEO of ATD as well as 200 executives from Charlotte’s biggest analytics and technology companies as well as leading universities in the Southeast.

Team ABC from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNCC) took home the grand prize of $3,000. InTIREsting Data from UNC-Chapel Hill took second place with a $1,500 cash prize and Team Abraca-data, a group of professionals, won third place with a $500 cash prize. Each of the top three teams also took home a brand new set of tires for their chosen ride, provided by a sponsoring manufacturer.

Other honors given out at the hackathon included:

  • Team Data Modeler from UNCC won the Oracle award for Best Use of Cloud Infrastructure;
  • TeamMiracle Software, a group of professionals from Miracle Software Solutions, won Best Data Visualization;
  • Team Will Win Wheels from USC received the award for Bleeding-Edge Technology;
  • InTIREsting Data won the Unique Thinker award;

“Most people do not correlate the tire industry with thought-provoking data-driven technology,” said Bandhavi Bodduluri, a member of Team ABC. “We are happy that we could deliver insights and solutions focused in data science, and hopefully see our findings change the landscape.”

Data analytics allows ATD to give customers the insights needed to stay ahead the of competition. The insights gleaned from the hackathon will be deployed in the field, ATD said.

“The results of our hackathon event set the bar for ATD’s plans to engage with the data analytics community, both locally and nationally,” said Schuette. “We look forward to continuing our mission to be the most connected and insightful automotive solutions provider in the industry.”

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