Creating better mobility together at the ULITMO hackathon in Oslo

What will be most important for customers when they travel with automated transport? What do operators and authorities need to manage in a good way for this to become a popular alternative to private cars? This was the theme at the last ULTIMO hackathon, organised in Oslo by Ruter and Open Geneva. Approximately 40 members of Ruter’s customer service took part in the event, contributing their insights into what the residents in the region are most concerned about when they are out traveling. 

“I believe the most fundamental aspect will be about safety and predictability. That the service is reliable and easy to use. But once the customer has started to trust the transportation, the popularity of the service in the long run will involve several factors, such as price, ticket options, and comfort,” says Judith Ulstein Kvangarsnes from customer service.  

Judith’s group chose to focus on how Ruter’s self-driving booking transport can compete against similar travel options from other providers, discussing discount and point systems, gamification, and methods to attract young people to prefer Ruter’s services. Other groups have worked on completely different things, such as seat configuration in vehicles and how the digital user interface can be designed. 


Ruter coordinated the hackathon together with Open Geneva, the ULTIMO partner that organises insight workshops and hackathons for various companies and is accustomed to involving groups of citizens in such sessions. They were positive about Ruter’s proposal to use their own employees from customer service. 

“The employees from customer service have an aggregated knowledge about what Ruter’s many thousands of customers are concerned about. By tapping into their insights, we get a lot out of even relatively short sessions like this,” said Julia Dallest from Open Geneva. “And we see an advantage in that the people in the room know and work with each other from before. It creates a safe atmosphere where people dare to discuss openly and share ideas that are not completely polished.” 

Hackathon in Oslo in Jan 2024

Further processing

Reflections, solution proposals, and simple prototypes from the work sessions at Ruter S will be further processed by ULTIMO project afterwards. Much of the material may become directly relevant in the Groruddalspiloten deployment site and the design of the self-driving booking service to be tested there. At the same time, Ruter must plan for the scaling of automated transport services that could happen after the pilot project in Groruddalen. Therefore, Ruter colleagues who work on pre-projects for autonomous booking transport on a larger scale and on-demand transport were also present. 

“Through work sessions like this, we become a little wiser about what we need to offer our customers and demand from the operator market for our services to become popular. It is crucial that we meet the customer’s needs for this to become a real alternative to private cars,” said one colleague.