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Die-Hard Driver Challenge

A mobile app that targets Pittsburg's “Die-Hard Drivers” and persuades them to consider other forms of public and private transportation.

Photo of Nick Fuller
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The Sentiance platform converts smartphone sensor data into real-time detections about how a person lives their daily life. We detect a person’s mobility (such as running, walking, biking) and transportation mode (such as bus, tram, train, shuttle, or driving a car) in addition to the locations they visit.

Our proposal would include the development of a mobile application that targets commuters and offers them incentives for walking, biking, and taking alternative forms of transportation such as public buses, bike-sharing services, and private shuttles. Sentiance’s SDK (a little bit of code) would be installed into the final app which is how our platform is able to detect commuting behavior.


A mobile app that targets “Die-Hard Drivers” and persuades them to consider other forms of public and private transportation. We encourage the citizens of Pittsburgh to “take the Die-Hard Driver Challenge” and save money on alternative forms of transportation and earn badges to redeem at participating merchants.

How This Will Work:

Run A Test: 

Before developing a commercial application, we suggest running a test on a group of 1,000 users of our demo app, Journeys. Our app would detect the commuting patterns of each user and automatically assign profiles (or badges) which include those who drive constantly and over short distances. Our app automatically detects and labels these users as “Die-Hard Drivers” and they will be the target users for a final mobile application.

Build A Transit Recommender App:

Working with a Pittsburgh-based mobile app developer or digital agency, we would build a mobile application that would: a) detect a person’s commuting behavior b) assign badges based on their own commuting patterns and c) provide recommendations for alternative transportation options based on their own commutes. Users would also display badges in the app to confirm that they are eligible for discounts at participating stores and shops.

Additionally, this application would serve as a way for local businesses to target commuters with in-app advertising. Merchants would benefit from detailed consumer profiles and predictions of when a consumer is likely to be walking by their store. For example, this information could be used to generate an offer from a local coffee shop on the route from home to work.

Recruit Pittsburgh’s Die-Hard Drivers:

When the app is complete, we would ask the Die-Hard Drivers identified during our Journeys test to download the finished mobile app and encourage the city to promote the new app on busy highways – letting drivers know that there is cheaper, greener alternative way to commute.

Assign Mobility Profiles:

Once a Die-Hard Driver has downloaded the app, our technology will immediately start to detect the mobility of the user and assign mobility badges (like the ones shown below) including Die-Hard Driver. Badges that represent “good” behavior (such as green commuter) will be redeemable for special discounts at local merchants while badges identified as “bad” (such as die-hard driver or distracted driver) will be recommended to take alternative transit options.

Recommend Transport Alternatives:

After profiles are assigned, an email report will be sent to the driver informing them of public transportation options that align with their daily commute. Die-hard drivers will be encouraged to try public transportation and private shuttle options that align with their home-to-work commuting pattern, in addition to walking or biking for short distances.

Inform Merchants: 

Over time, Sentiance’s technology will detect and predict foot and bike traffic that passes by local merchant stores. Sentiance will generate a report that the city can use to inform local merchants of the volume of commuters that pass by their store, in addition to valuable demographic information. This information would be shared with merchants in the area to persuade them to participate in this program and offer incentives to commuters who earn green commuter badges.

Multi-modal transport detection and consumer profiling are available today through Sentiance’s SDK. Visuals shown in this submission are taken directly from Sentiance’s demo app, called Journeys, which you can download here for free: iOS / Android.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

- Die-hard drivers seeking to save time and money - Local businesses eager to increase store traffic by engaging commuters

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Sentiance is comprised of a global team of data scientists and engineers who are passionate about improving lives through artificial intelligence. Our headquarters is located in Antwerp, Belgium and our US office is located in New York.

Size of your team or organization

  • 51-250

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We propose using the Journeys app as a means of gaining data in order to learn about commuting patterns and to recruit a small group of Die-Hard Drivers who will serve as our test pilot audience and initial users during a public roll-out. If reactions are favorable from both businesses and commuters during our test, we would propose that the city selects a local app developer or agency to build and maintain the app.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

- Did we get people to download? - Did we change behavior? - Did local business benefit?


Join the conversation:

Photo of Idrees Mutahr

Hello Nick, thank you for submitting this proposal, I am a facilitator for the Pittsburgh challenge. This is an interesting idea given that with more mobility options becoming available in cities, having people reconsider their commuting habits will probably be increasingly important.

Photo of Nick Fuller

Hi Idrees, thank you for reviewing our submission. As more companies provide mobility services to cities such as Pittsburg, there will be a need to align these options to provide a simple and seamless experience for the end-user. Our "Die-Hard Driver" concept is one idea to influence behavior change and to inform the public of cheaper, greener options.