Behind the scenes of the Mobile Banking Factory 2 challenge
The Mobile Banking Factory 2 challenge closed on May 19 last. What does this sort of event involve for a major company? To find out, I talked to Michael Thiriet. As an expert in Big Data development at the PSA Peugeot Citroen information systems department, he experienced the event from the inside.
In Movement takes you behind the scenes of this original challenge!
Michael, how did the adventure begin?
If we go back to the beginnings of the project, my adventure in Big Data at PSA Peugeot Citroën began in 2013 when we decided to analyse the social networks, as part of an event organised inhouse. We put in place an IT infrastructure able to store large quantities of data. Remember that a number of PSA Peugeot Vehicles have been connected since 2004 as part of the emergency call system (eCall).
We have made considerable progress since then. We can now collect non-structured data from connected vehicles, concerning geolocation, the exterior temperature, mileage, etc. We can recover a large number of indicators.
These data can now be captured in real time. Will this pave the way for new applications?
Yes, customers no longer need to visit their dealerships. This opens up a whole new range of opportunities for us. By recovering data in real time, we can work on them and use algorithms to create new services: eco-driving apps, predictive alerts based on driving style, anything is possible! The objective is also to create value using these data. The data recovered from Group vehicles becomes completely anonymous in the Cloud. By opening our APIs (Application Programme Interfaces), we provide customers with secure access to their own data via third-party apps.
So this is where the Mobile Banking Factory challenge comes in?
Exactly. In April 2015, PSA Peugeot Citroën was keen to test its APIs and to see whether they were coherent with the development of a mobile app. For this reason, the Group decided to take part in the Mobile Banking Factory 2 challenge organised by Crédit Agricole Store (CA Store). This is a first for a vehicle manufacturer in France involving connected cars. A dedicated infrastructure and APIs were created and enriched by the Group’s Big Data teams. They were then made available to the teams of developers taking part in the challenge. The objective for participants was to use the APIs supplied by CA Store and its partners as part of an interactive approach. Over two months, Noé Reboul (expert in the technical architecture of information systems) and I worked with the developers as mentors. We aimed to provide support and useful tips as well as to showcase and make direct improvements to PSA Peugeot Citroën APIs.
How did the adventure end?
At the finals of the challenge on 19 May last, each team presented its project. The jury chaired by CA Store selected three teams of developers for their apps. The PSA Peugeot Citroën team working on the challenge, which was led by Brigitte Courtehoux, Director of the Connected Services and Mobility Services business unit, selected the team that developed an app called “Bill It”. This app lets users track business travel in their own private cars and automatically generate the corresponding expense claims. This app associates the connected car with a smartphone or connected watch. This challenge was the ideal terrain to promote the emergence of innovative ideas. The PSA Peugeot Citroën APIs were applauded by the developers who quoted them on several occasions as examples of quality and functionality. It is motivating to see that cars are objects that attract developers
What did you gain from the experience?
For us, it was one hundred percent positive! To take part in this operation, the teams worked in start-up mode for more than six months. It was a real challenge for us too, creating APIs to showcase the Group and connected cars as part of an original operation. Given that it had never been done before, we were a bit stressed about being judged by our peers and the developers on the quality of our APIs! It was an enriching experience with all the teams coming together around a common aim. And it was exciting to play the role of pioneers for the Group on a subject that we really made our own!