Improving Vehicle Entry into Bratislava’s Historic Center: A Modern Solution


The Ministry of Investments, Regional Development, and Informatization of the Slovak Republic is organizing the fourth hackathon, funded by the Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Slovak Republic, on September 8-9. The topic owner, Bratislava–Staré Mesto district, aims to solicit from hackers a design for a digital system to control and permit the entry of vehicles into the historical city center.

Named “Hack the Entrance to the Historic City Center,” this hackathon will once again be held at the Campus Cowork premises. Participating teams, composed of professional IT developers and students, will have the opportunity to work on their ideas even throughout the night. A prize of 3,000 euros awaits the winning team.

What Prompted Bratislava Staré Mesto City District to Embrace the Hackathon Challenge

The current system, which relies on manual approval, does not allow for data analysis regarding how long vehicles spend in the city center. Consequently, there could be a human factor failure in ensuring adherence to the established rules.

“The primary purpose of the historical center of the capital is to cater primarily to its residents and visitors, prioritizing pedestrian movement. Thus, vehicle entry must be diligently monitored, allowing only authorized vehicles with permits from the city district to access the pedestrian zone. Examples include vehicles employed for operational supply, which bring vitality and the characteristic liveliness of the city center, as well as police, City police, and emergency service vehicles,” stated Petr Skalník, Deputy Mayor for Development and Modernization of the Bratislava-Staré Mesto district.

He also added that the present system falls short of the Old Town’s requisites: “Despite the year being 2023, data on vehicles with permits are currently managed in a standard Excel spreadsheet. Consequently, City police grant vehicle access after manually verifying registration plates through a camera system. The hackathon is poised to inspire numerous ideas on how to automate and modernize this system, thereby enhancing safety and comfort for pedestrians in the heart of the Old Town.”

MIRRI SR-organized hackathons are already renowned within the IT community and among young students. In previous instances, they brought proposals for modern applications that simplify form filling at offices by utilizing information the government already possesses about citizens, along with solutions for senior education and fighting misinformation.

The Ideal Winning Solution

The proposed solutions’ format faces minimal restrictions from both the city district and the ministry, relying primarily on the creativity and skills of hackathon participants.

From these proposals, Staré Mesto district seeks concepts or prototypes of a system capable of automatically retrieving a vehicle’s registration details and cross-referencing them with the permits database. Alternatively, a user-friendly application for permit applications and issuance is desirable. Currently, the city district lacks the capacity to store data on each vehicle’s entry or tools to analyze which streets experience the highest vehicular activity during specific times of the day.

Join Us at the Upcoming Hackathon!

Interested teams can register for the September hackathon through the website. Based on past events, MIRRI recommends forming teams of 2 to 5 members, including individuals skilled in programming and application development, as well as those with experience in various IT or business domains. Evaluation criteria include functionality, originality, user experience, and the clarity of the proposed solution’s presentation.

Winning teams will receive financial rewards of 3,000, 2,000, and 1,000 euros, divided among the top three. Campus facilities will offer ample refreshments, high-quality Wi-Fi, and an optional opportunity to work during the night from Friday to Saturday.

See you at the hackathon!

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