Bike theft is rampant in the Bay area and one startup out of UC Berkeley aims to stop the problem in its tracks. This team of students is working to create an app for police officers to predict where the next bike theft is going to happen and when. By collecting publicly available data, these students were able to build heat maps and a predictive model to show officers where and when bike theft is most likely to happen.
While the project is still in its early stages, public interest has piqued especially in the cyclist community. Fellow students familiar with the project have said that it’s a “neat idea” and that it would be a “valuable tool.” In a recent pitch presentation, one judge took specific interest in this idea due to a personal connection to the subject matter, “I have had two bikes stolen from my house, and when I told the police about it they just shrugged me off. If this tool can help the police better allocate their resources to deal with this problem, then maybe I won’t have my next bike stolen.” For now the project is in its initial stages, but the team plans to work on it further and hopefully build it into a startup company.