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Shanghai Urban Commuter Challenge Highlights NYU Poly Incubator Company

The Ford Motor Company recently invited digital developers to come to the aid of commuters in major world cities by designing software that could help enhance their quality of life.
One of the submissions came in from a company called Bandwagon. It is based at Urban Future Lab, the innovative clean-tech incubator in Brooklyn, N.Y., a partnership between NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and The City and State of New York. Bandwagon’s submission to the Ford Shanghai Urban Commuter Challenge turned the judge’s heads – the company’s rideshare entry came in second place overall, garnering a $7,000 prize.
For its Shanghai rideshare submission, Bandwagon – launched in 2013 – conducted extensive research on the city’s transportation infrastructure, while developing the mobile web version of its software for this context.
The Bandwagon team ultimately developed a mobile web application and “hub-view” that lets commuters at crowded airports and other transportation hubs see passengers and departing rides in the vicinity. This mobile web application, light-weight and relatively easy to deploy, reduces the need for physical hardware. It would enable Shanghai residents to deploy Bandwagon’s sharing networks at their most crowded transportation centers.
And the Shanghai Urban Challenge judges were clearly impressed by its potential to help commuters in the city, population 14.35 million, and home of NYU Shanghai.
Bandwagon is led by CEO David Mahfouda, and its top staff includes Ugur Inanc, Director of Operations. Inanc is a graduate of NYU Polytechnic who completed his master’s degree at New York University’s Management of Technology. The company operates in several U.S. metropolitan hubs, such as Newark International Airport, where it partnered with United Airlines Eco-Skies as the program’s ridesharing provider, and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Internationally, Bandwagon works in the Quebec region, and is in talks with other major transportation hubs in the North Atlantic region.