DrivenData, HeroX Tap Innovators to Create Solution for Airport Configuration Predictions

HeroX + DrivenData

Offering $40K Prize Purse for New Tools That Improve Flight Operations and Streamline Air Travel

DrivenData and HeroX announced the crowdsourcing competition, “Runway Functions: Predict Reconfigurations at US Airports.” The challenge seeks innovative methods for streamlining air travel, reducing delays, and providing advance notice of changes that may affect flights. The winning solution intends to assist flight operators, planners, and other decision makers in predicting airport configuration changes based on real-time air traffic and weather data. The challenge is open to teams and individuals associated with a U.S. university.

The National Airspace System is a complex series of interconnected systems and entities responsible for coordinating our nation’s airways, arguably the most complex transportation system in the world. Air traffic officials may perform an airport configuration change depending on weather, traffic, or other inputs. Operational inefficiencies can cost airlines, taxpayers, and consumers millions of dollars on a regular basis. Predicting upcoming changes and improving data collection and synthesis would help allow flight operators to respond earlier and adjust schedules accordingly. With this in mind, NASA designed this challenge to source better algorithms for predicting future airport configurations, which, when optimized, will support the national airspace system in critical decision making, reducing costs and fuel use, and mitigating delays across the national airspace network.

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A total prize purse of $40,000 will be distributed amongst the top 4 solutions. Winning solutions should combine data collection with state-of-the-art machine learning.

“Innovating in this area helps airlines and travelers alike,” said Greg Lipstein, principal at DrivenData. “This will be a great way to demonstrate how this newly available data can be used for public benefit. I am excited to see our network of problem solvers step in to improve efficiencies for one of the world’s most sophisticated transportation systems.”

All eligible participants are invited to register to participate in the Open Arena. For this challenge, cash prizes are restricted to official representatives who, at the time of entry, are age 18 or older, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories, and are affiliated with a U.S. university either as an enrolled student or faculty member. Proof of enrollment or employment is required to demonstrate university affiliation.

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