Odyssey Hackathon 2019, previously known as Dutch Blockchain Hackathon is a huge event for the developers and creatives who always dreamed of contributing to society. This is a unique codefest as it gives participants an opportunity to cooperate with big corporates, top technical experts, stakeholders and even governmental bodies to build the best solutions for the global commons.
The range of problems to solve is really wide. This year, the teams from all around the world came to the Netherlands and worked hard to meet lots of challenges, from creating a fundamentally new ecosystem of plants to visualizing investments in open sources. Our team, Edgica, took part in this competition, created a crisis & disaster management project, and became one of the winners!
Hazardous material transportation is one of the most pressing global challenges. Materials like explosives, gases, flammable liquids, oxidizers, etc. must be shipped safely, and the only way to reduce the risk of releases into the environment is to provide all the parties with information about transportation and incidents along the route. More importantly, all the data must be continuously updated in real time.
Not every business is ready to take responsibility for such kind of transportation, and no wonder. If any unforeseen incidents occur, in the best case scenario, a company will pay a huge penalty. In the worst case scenario, accidents will result in explosion, fire, damage to the vehicles, buildings, human health, and human casualties.
Consequently, the principal goal is to prevent disasters that may occur due to the inability to share information regarding transporting and storage of hazardous materials automatically and in real time.
Edgica was aimed to develop a prototype that would allow reducing the number of road accidents involving hazardous materials, make the transportation much safer, and avoid infrastructure losses.
Thus, at Odyssey Hackathon 2019, our team consisting of the team captain, two python and blockchain developers, an IoT hardware engineer from Ukraine and a front-end web developer from Portugal/Netherlands faced the immense challenge to incentivize sharing information on hazardous materials.
We had 48 hours to develop an effective MVP prototype or protocol that would not only reflect our suggestion to solve the problem but also to demonstrate our idea live and running. We are proud to say that we did it in time!
The analysis of the problem
The analysis we have taken showed the main problem – the Fire Service (Brandweer in Dutch) does not have access to the information about hazardous materials being transported. On the other hand, transport companies do not share information about the transportation of hazardous materials. Besides, they do not have access to information about incidents on the route.
(1) Fire Service to get real-time and trusted information about the vehicles with hazardous material and take prevention actions, if necessary;
(2) Transportation companies to get real-time information about incidents on the way of transportation, and benefit from sharing such information;
(3) Insurance companies to get comprehensive and transparent information on transportation.
We wanted to incentivize transport companies to share info on the transportation of hazardous materials, and interest insurance companies that provide hazmat insurance. It became possible due to ERC20 Token and smart contracts. The Ethereum platform allowed the tokenizing value of Safety and running economics of the system (Safety Economy).
Furthermore, transport companies can benefit not only from the Safety Economy but also from insurance discounts they get. Insurance companies, in turn, get transparent data on transportations, hence, can set flexible prices instead of fixed ones. The Fire brigades, in turn, get an opportunity to increase their productivity by analyzing the information provided by transportation companies.
Sounds like a win-win solution for every participant!
We created the MVP of safety app/API that worked on the ideas of:
- Building a smart contract to transfer ERC20 token
- Equipping the vehicles with IoT devices and sensors that log the data from gateway to IOTA of GPS coordinates of the vehicle and the data from sensors (temperature, gas, radiation, and so on) to IOTA
- Transferring data in an encrypted way by using Masked Authenticated Messaging
- Making map UI available to any third party that participates in transportation (transportation company, fire service, etc.)
We used Python, Django REST framework, Solidity, Ethereum, IOTA, RabbitMQ, MQTT, Node.js, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and many other IoT components.
So how does the solution actually work?
- Transportation company shares basic information on the shipment with our system.
- Transportation company also gets information on the incidents along the route that helps to prevent any accidents.
- The vehicles save encrypted data of real-time GPS coordinates and dynamic data from IoT sensors to IOTA.
- The system gets data from the IOTA.
- The company gains tokens for safe transportation.
- Fire Service Control Room gets access to the real-time data on vehicles with hazmat around any public incident.
- Now the exchange of information between the parties is possible!
- All the data on transportation is encrypted and belongs to the transport company, and the company decides how it will share the information.
Below, you can find links to more materials, articles and multimedia about our solution.
Our system will not remain a prototype: after the hackathon, we agreed to take further steps with stakeholders to implement the idea to life. This success was made possible not only by Edgica professionals but also by the outstanding team of Fire Service of the Netherlands, the IFV Institute for Safety, and the Odyssey Hackathon support team. Thank you for your help and for making this happen!
We were happy to take part in this competition – Hackathon is the best event for everyone who wants to develop new approaches and find opportunities for making the world better. This case shows that the level of Ukrainian IT is high, and we think that it is something to be proud of.