“L.A. wasn’t built around the car. It was built around the parking lot.” (Los Angeles Magazine, 2011).

Los Angeles has the highest density of parking spaces in the world. Its downtown contains more spaces per acre than any other city and they’ve been growing at a rate of about 1,000 a year for over a century, (Los Angeles Magazine, 2011). Yet despite increasing development, finding a parking spot remains stressful - especially during high traffic times of day.

For the past 100 years, the solution to this problem was simple: build enough parking to handle peak demand. However, little attention, if any, has been paid to the off-hours, evenings, weekends, and holidays. Today, L.A. has a mountain-size surplus of parking that it, quite often, doesn’t know how to utilize.

So what’s to be done? How can Los Angeles outdoor surface parking lots be repurposed to increase their variety of uses, or aesthetic value, while enabling parking in the city?

Ford needs your help to find the answers. We’re asking developers from around the world to show us how they would reimagine and repurpose surface parking lots in Los Angeles using software and apps.  


This challenge is open to:

  • Individuals (who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry); Teams of eligible individuals; Organizations (up to 50 employees)
  • Organizations with over 50 employees may compete for the non-cash Large Organization Recognition Award.


Content: Submitted solutions must focus on repurposing Los Angeles outdoor surface parking lots to increase their variety of uses, or aesthetic value, while enabling parking in the city. (Note: Solutions are not required to include LA-specific data, but must be usable for LA parking lots.)

Solutions must include a software component you have created such as: 

  • a native smartphone or tablet app (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Kindle, Windows Mobile)
  • a web app (mobile or desktop)
  • a desktop app (Windows PC, Mac Desktop)
  • software running on other hardware (including, but not exclusive to, wearable technology, open source hardware, etc.)
  • custom hardware which includes a software component (wearable technology, etc.)

Supplemental Material: You must submit a demo video (hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or Youku) that walks through the main functionality of the solution via screencast or video. You must also submit at least one image/screenshot of your working solution.

New & Existing Solutions: Solutions may be newly created or pre-existing. If you are submitting an existing solution (developed prior to this competition), you must include new features/functionality added after the submission period began. Your new features must specifically aim to increase the variety of uses for Los Angeles parking lots, or aesthetic value, while enabling parking in the city. If you are submitting an existing solution, you will be required to explain the new features on the submission form.

Hackathon Sponsors


$27,500 in prizes

Grand Prize

Second Prize

Third Prize

Popular Choice

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

  1. Learn about the problem and some resources for solutions.
  2. Read the Official Rules to confirm you meet all eligibility requirements.
  3. “Register” to access the submission form and start your draft.
  4. Create a working solution that meets the requirements above, a demonstration video, and take some screenshots of your solution.
  5. Provide a way for us to access your solution.
  6. Submit before the deadline!


Juan Matute

Juan Matute
Associate Director, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies

Hillary Norton

Hillary Norton
Executive Director, FAST - Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic

Erica Klampfl, PhD

Erica Klampfl, PhD
Global Manager of Future Mobility, Ford Motor Company

Eran Ben-Joseph

Eran Ben-Joseph
Professor and Department Head, Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT

Mike Tinskey

Mike Tinskey
Director, Global Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure at Ford

John Schmid

John Schmid
CEO & Chairman, Propark America

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the Idea
    Includes creativity and originality of the idea.
  • Implementation of the Idea
    Includes how well the idea was executed by the developer.
  • Transformation of the Modern Parking Lot
    Includes the extent to which the solution increases the variety of uses, or aesthetic value, of Los Angeles parking lots, while enabling parking in the city.

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