OnStar Student Developer Challenge Finds Its Winners

Launched in mid-January, the OnStar Student Developer Challenge, a competition intended for students who can develop the company's app of the future, has finally announced its winners. Specifically, four students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have won the contest and a $10,000 Developer Dream Package.

The winning team created an app called EatOn, a restaurant discovery experience within the vehicle. EatOn allows drivers to use only their voice to locate nearby restaurants, listen to ratings and reviews, make reservations through OpenTable, call or receive turn-by-turn driving directions to the desired restaurant. The app also allows users to send their friends automated text invitations to the restaurant or post their destination on Twitter.

"This challenge was about looking outside the box in order to develop new technologies that will enrich the driving experience for our six million customers," said Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of Planning and Business Development. "We were extremely impressed with all of the students' final app submissions. These students represent the future of digital connectivity and I wouldn't be surprised to see one of these applications incorporated into OnStar's suite of services in the future."

The winning team consisted of MIT sophomores Drew Dennison, Isaac Evans, Sara Sprague and Marie Burkland. "It was a great competition that allowed us to explore the latest in automotive technology," said Dennison. "There were excellent submissions and strong teams. It was fun to work together; everyone brought 110 percent effort and we are honored to be selected."

The panel of technology judges included Robert Scoble (Scobleizer), Daniel Jacobson (Netflix), Matthew Ervin (The Plum Group) and Jeff Liedel (OnStar). Aside from the MIT, other institutions involved in the competition included Carnegie Mellon University, University of Michigan, University of Texas and University of Toledo.
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