Hackathon Challenges Digital Interns to Improve Customer Safety

September 13, 2022

Caterpillar’s Digital interns in US and India were challenged to solve real-world industry problems using their digital skillsets. The participants were split into teams, each having no more than 72 hours to develop and present their proposed solution to a panel of judges comprised of digital leaders.

In the U.S., teams were challenged to develop an interactive app to allow Caterpillar customers to safely access sensitive information by validating their identity.

In India, teams were presented with two challenges: the first asked teams to develop an AI solution to better predict equipment/component failures and the second gave teams the opportunity to develop an AI process to monitor the status of inbound/outbound vehicles on a jobsite to enhance worker safety.

The winning teams presented their solutions, which included AI-enabled equipment efficiency recommendations, inbound/outbound vehicle tracking using AI, as well as an integrated authentication system leveraging automatic verification to enhance user experience. A broad range of solutions reflecting the broad range of work being done by digital interns.

One participating intern said, “Getting to work on a real-world challenge definitely exercised my problem-solving skills. As our team interviewed different Caterpillar employees [to solve the challenge], we realized the complexity of balancing competing priorities like security, speed and simplicity. It was a great feeling to hear that we had brought a novel solution to the table and I’m excited to see how the process will continue to evolve. Getting to participate in the Hackathon will definitely be one of the highlights of my time interning at Caterpillar.”

Their work is certainly not for nothing. Cat Digital VP, Tom Bucklar, said, “We pick the business challenge for the Hackathon based on what areas we need a fresh set of eyes on. We want to take all the great ideas and bring them into the team.” The innovative solutions developed by these outside-the-box thinkers during the Hackathon are often put into practice, ensuring that the legacy our interns leave is felt no matter where their career takes them. It’s the work that matters.