A team of students from Georgia Tech recently won Toyota and Net Impact’s Next Generation Mobility Challenge with an app concept to improve mobility options for people who use wheelchairs. (Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor North America)

“Para Pickup,” developed by a team of students from Georgia Tech (shown here) to help improve the mobility options for people who use wheelchairs, recently won Toyota and Net Impact’s Next Generation Mobility Challenge for 2017. (Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor North America.)

Para Pickup,” an app-based para-transit taxi service for people in wheelchairs designed by a team of students from Georgia Tech University, was named the winner of the 2017 Next Generation Mobility Challenge.

The Mobility Challenge is a national competition from the Toyota Mobility Foundation and Net Impact to inspire millennials to use design thinking to solve mobility issues. Nearly 600 students participated at 15 events across the country, according to a media release from Toyota Motor North America.

Judges from Toyota and Net Impact chose “Para Pickup” as the winner based on six categories: clarity of goals and objectives, clarity of project design, impact to society, feasibility, creativity and the team’s potential to implement the project.

The app also took first place among the public, who voted online.

“We developed Para Pickup to help wheelchair users go wherever they want, whenever they want,” comments team member Sally Xia (Masters in Digital Media), in the release.

Xia, along with the rest of the design team—Riley Keen (Masters in Industrial Design), Pranav Nair (Masters in Industrial and Product Design), and Kris Weng (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering)—have accepted summer internships through Net Impact in partnership with Toyota at the company’s North American headquarters in Plano, Tex, to further develop the app for the Toyota Mobility Foundation. They may also be considered for funding as well to fuel their project.

“The Para Pickup team spotted a problem that needs solving and came up with a smart, well thought-out plan to open up more opportunities for people who use wheelchairs,” says Kristen Tabar, vice president, Technical Strategy and Planning Office, Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development, in the release. “Congratulations to the team on their big win and please keep up the good work!”

“Net Impact’s goal is to give young people the tools to take on social challenges through creative thinking and entrepreneurship,” adds Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact, in the release.

“Para Pickup took a thoughtful approach to understanding community needs and building a service that addressed them. We’re very proud of the team and look forward to seeing the progress they make!”

[Source(s): Toyota Motor North America, PR Newswire]