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Students Win $100,000 for Traffic Management System

More than 700 business leaders, government officials and investors gathered in Mountain View, California. They were attending the 3rd annual Social Innovation Summit.

Landmark Ventures, a financial advisory company, organized the event in December. It was a conference aimed at finding new ways to deal with some old problems, like traffic.

Vehicle traffic is an issue that student entrepreneur Christian Bruggemann hopes to solve. His Team Graphmasters received a Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant of $100,000. The German team won the prize for its Nunav traffic management system. Here is how it works.

Drivers using the system send their current position and destination to the system's computer servers every 30 seconds. With that information, the central system can reroute all of the cars in a way that everyone gets his individual best possible route.

Christian Bruggemann says tests suggest that using such a system could save up to 20 percent on fuel consumption. And up to 50 percent on time spent in traffic. A team from Uganda was also invited to the Social Innovation Summit.

Team Cypher256 has developed a mobile app to improve health care for pregnant women in Africa, where maternal and infant mortality rates are extremely high. The mobile app is called WinSenga. It measures fetal heart sounds to help establish the heart rate, age and position of the fetus in the mother.

Cypher 256 team leader, Aaron Tushabe says the device is similar to medical tests that are costly. Team Cypher256 also received a Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant to help continue their project.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.