Jindal Students Win Competition with Idea for Connected Car App
Hermes Road Warrior System Would Make Planning Road Trips Easier, Alert Drivers to Car Problems
A team from the Naveen Jindal School of Management — (from left) Chao Li, Dwight Fraencis Dy, Atul Nagar, advisor Mary Beth Goodrich, Xi Jiang and Prachi Sahoo — recently won an international competition for its idea for an in-car app.
A team of Naveen Jindal School of Management students won an international competition for its idea for an in-car app that could diagnose problems and find the nearest auto repair shops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels from a dashboard screen.
The Hermes Road Warrior System was one of six winners in the Global Connected Car Contest 2013 sponsored by the business software firm SAP. The team won in the convenience and safety category for its idea to connect drivers through wireless technology.
The Hermes app would be accessible through a car’s display panel. It could sync GPS and fuel data for planning gas stops on long trips. And it could scout the best restaurants and hotels along the way.
The team includes information technology and management graduate students Prachi Sahoo, Chao Li and Atul Nagar; Dwight Fraencis Dy, a management and administrative sciences grad student; and Xi Jiang, who earned a master’s in information technology and management in December.
“I’m just thrilled for the students that they were able to do this. It’s that kind of dedication from that SAP team that helped them place in the competition. They are definitely deserving of this honor.”
The students will travel to Silicon Valley in August to meet with experts from SAP and General Motors to advance their idea.
Dy, the team’s leader, said the group came up with the idea based on their own driving experiences. He predicts that drivers will especially like the app’s feature that diagnoses problems and helps to solve them instead of a vague check-engine warning.
“Drivers have the experience of getting a warning indicator that they need to check their engine soon,” Dy said. “This normally frustrates people because they actually have no idea whether the car is in critical condition or the problem can easily be fixed without visiting auto shops.”
The team’s proposal included financial projections that include a profit within the second month of the second year of production.
The team members are part of the Jindal School’s SAP Users Group, which offers educational, networking and career-development opportunities for students seeking careers at SAP or other business software systems.
Team advisor Mary Beth Goodrich, accounting senior lecturer and professor of courses in the enterprise systems concentration that use SAP in the classroom, said she was proud of the students, who spent their Thanksgiving break working on the project.
“I’m just thrilled for the students that they were able to do this. It’s that kind of dedication from that SAP team that helped them place in the competition,” Goodrich said. “They are definitely deserving of this honor.”
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