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Partner Event: Thurs 8/14 Toyota Connected Vehicle Ideathon

A special invite for Autohackers to the Toyota Connected Vehicle Ideathon on Thursday 8/14 (complimentary tickets, food, and prizes provided):

Toyota Connected Vehicle Ideathon


Toyota ITC  is inviting Bay Area designers and developers to participate in its first-ever Connected Vehicle

Ideathon from 5-10 p.m. Aug. 14 at NestGSV in Redwood City. The goal is to explore the possibilities for future connected vehicles, and Toyota will be awarding cash prizes for ideas that offer new value to its customers by leveraging one of the following four tech themes: Wearables, SmartHome, IoT, and SpeechRecognition. This is an Ideathon only and designer-friendly; no coding required. Winning submissions will be captured in slide format, making heavy use of sketches, storyboards, wireframes or similar, and will be judged on the following criteria:

User Merit: How much does your idea benefit our customers?

Originality: We've never seen this because no one has done or proposed this before.

Relevance to Toyota: Unique value automaker can offer that other industries cannot.


Four $1000 “Best in Theme” cash prizes awarded to the best idea for each theme.

One $2500 “Best Overall” cash prize awarded to the best of the four "Best in Theme" ideas.


Wearables: Propose a way to enhance the vehicle experience by leveraging functionality from one of the myriad Wearable devices now or soon-to-be available (e.g smart watches, head-mounted displays, activity trackers, hearables, etc.)

Existing Ideas & Examples:

-Lock/Unlock vehicle from SmartWatch:

Smart Home: People are adding intelligence and automation to their homes via an array of smart home devices. These devices are typically connected, like our vehicles, so we're looking for ideas that enhance the home/vehicle relationship by having these two systems talk to each other.

Existing Ideas & Examples:

-Home auto-adjusts thermostat based on vehicle ETA:

-Home senses arriving vehicle and automatically opens garage door/unlocks house door

Internet of Things: IoT trends suggest in the near future we’ll be surrounded by smart objects sensing and broadcasting information to passersby. Our vehicles will be able to listen and interact with these “things”, so we want to hear your novel ideas on how we can tap in to improve the vehicle experience.

Existing Ideas & Examples:

-Item Location Reminders in the Car:

Speech Recognition: Cars have long supported push-to-talk speech recognition systems to simplify complicated in-vehicle tasks while driving.  Emerging speech technologies such as trigger-word detection and voice-based identification open up possibilities to further enhance vehicle usability and security.

Existing Ideas & Examples:

-Nuance Voice Biometrics:

-Sensory Trigger-Word Detection:


5 representatives from Toyota’s Connected Services Division


5-5:30 p.m. - Food and networking

5:30-8:30 p.m. - Create idea storyboards/sketches/slides

8:30-9:30 p.m. - Three-minute pitches

9:30-10 p.m. - Awards presentation

You'll be working in NestGSV's community space and courtyard. There will be music pumping through the facility's speakers. If you need an even more relaxed enviornment, Nest has conference rooms available. We're looking for ideas, so whatever you need to get them out, we're here to help. If you need to go to left field — or even out of the stadium — to get them, we want to see it. Feel free to have a beer from NestGSV's kegerator while you work. We're looking for inspiration — and to have a good time. 

Join or login to comment.

  • Tim F.

    Hi Nandita,
    I was one of the CarFit guys. Happy to share more information about the idea. Feel free to send me a message at t.falkenmayer (at) or here on the platform.

    1 · August 17, 2014

    • Samarth S.

      You were on the winning team? Good Job, Tim!

      August 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Find myself yelling at my Prius' dated NAV system
    not understanding simple commands. These events hosted by Toyota and Nest GSV are crucial to compete with the next generation of connected vehicles.
    Google is paying $19k per month to lease 60 acres at
    the former Castle AFB in Merced County to test their
    driverless cars. Kudos to all.

    August 15, 2014

  • Nandita

    Great event last night! Would it be possible to share a few lines on the winning teams product pitches with the meetup members. I am curious about the big winner CarFit and perhaps missed a few key notes during the 90 seconds presentation.

    August 15, 2014

  • Anurag M.

    This event seems like an acknowledgement that Toyota is out of ideas and will happily "buy" (for little more than hourly consulting rates) these ideas from others? And, if indeed this is what they want, why not help fund projects and/or startups around the winning ideas? It will improve the quality of submissions and get a lot more committed individuals.

    July 24, 2014

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