Detroit is on the rebound, and residents are experiencing a period of intense growth and renewal. To stay on pace with its rapid growth, Motor City needs new approaches to safe, efficient mobility solutions that can help all residents enjoy the benefits of the city’s evolution.

This presents a challenge: how technology can help provide safe, efficient, reliable transit to all Detroit residents, so they can get to school, work, and activities securely, on time, and in an enjoyable, clean environment.

To help Detroit residents get access to the transit options they need, Ford is calling on developers to create new apps that help commuters get around efficiently and safely to all the places they need to go—school, work, healthcare appointments, entertainment venues, parks, and everything in between.

Everyone deserves a safe and efficient commute. Build apps to help Detroit residents mobilize their daily lives with ease and security.


This challenge is open to:

  • Individuals, and teams of individuals, who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry
  • Organizations that, at the time of entry, have been duly organized or incorporated and validly exist, and employ 50 or fewer people (Organizations that employ more than 50 people will be eligible for a non-cash recognition prize)
  • The competition will welcome submitters from around the globe.
    • However, individuals or organizations may be disqualified if they are based in a nation, state, province, or territory where U.S. or local law prohibits participating in the competition or receiving a prize. This includes individuals, who are residents of, and organizations domiciled in Brazil, Quebec, Cuba, Sudan, Iran, North Korea, Syria and any other country designated by the United States Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Software applications that have been submitted to a previous Ford-sponsored competition run on Devpost and have won a prize are not eligible for this competition.

Ford employees are not allowed to compete in this competition.


What to Create: You must create or update a working software application that lets Detroit residents reliably access their life activities by helping them travel efficiently and / or safely to school, work, healthcare, or play.

Submit the following assets:

Language: All submission materials must be in English, as well as all written materials. If the video, text description, and testing instructions are not in English, an English translation or subtitles must be provided.

New & Existing Solutions: Solutions may be newly created or pre-existing. If you are submitting an existing solution (developed prior to this competition), your solution must include new features/functionality added after the submission period began, which specifically focus on providing safe and efficient transit access for Detroit residents. If you are entering an existing solution, you will be required to explain the new features in the submission form.

Hackathon Sponsors


$30,000 in prizes

First Prize

• $15,000 USD
• Interview for the 2017 Techstars Mobility Accelerator Program.
• 30-minute 1:1 mentoring sessions (up to 2) with the Techstars Mobility investment team.

Second Prize

• $7,500 USD
• Interview for the 2017 Techstars Mobility Accelerator Program.
• 30-minute 1:1 mentoring sessions (up to 2) with the Techstars Mobility investment team.

Third Prize

• $3,000 USD
• Interview for the 2017 Techstars Mobility Accelerator Program.
• 30-minute 1:1 mentoring sessions (up to 2) with the Techstars Mobility investment team.

Best app by a Detroit resident

$2,000 USD

Best app by a student team

$2,000 USD

Popular Choice

$500 USD

Large Organization Recognition Award

Non-cash recognition award for organizations over 50 employees

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

1. Register for the Go Detroit Challenge.

2. Visit the Background Info page and the Resources page to learn more about the problem statements and data available for Detroit.

3. Find a teammate (optional). Do you have the UX chops, but need someone who can code? Are you a genius coder, but need some design flair? Join our competition-only Ryver forum

4. Build your app!

5. Shoot your demo screencast video and take screenshots of your functioning app. Please note: a video is required for judges to evaluate your application

6. Provide a way for us to access your solution. 

7. Make sure your entry adheres to all the requirements and submit on before 5pm ET on February 7, 2017.


K. Venkatesh Prasad

K. Venkatesh Prasad
Senior Technical Leader, Open Innovation | Member, Ford Technology Advisory Board

Seun Oyewole

Seun Oyewole
Analyst | Invest Detroit Ventures

Ted Serbinski

Ted Serbinski
Managing Director, Techstars Mobility

Brad Hoos

Brad Hoos
Hacker Fellows

Lisa Seymour

Lisa Seymour
Program Manager, Techstars

Qianyan Xie

Qianyan Xie
Smart Mobility, Ford

Eric Wingfield

Eric Wingfield
Mobility Strategist, Ford

Judging Criteria

  • Unique
    A new innovation that is significantly different to current products and services.
  • Useable
    A solution that is actionable (can be implemented within 3 - 18 months), achievable with current technology and likely resources, and relevant to Detroit’s needs.
  • Scalable
    Something that can be replicated in other cities facing similar mobility or transportation issues to Detroit.
  • Sustainable
    A viable solution that delivers financial and social returns, and continues to serve Detroit beyond the duration of the challenge.

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.