Ford has opened the door to developers who have ideas that may make it easier for drivers to learn how to conserve fuel and further improve their real-world fuel economy. The winning developer will get a fat, $50,000 check.
According to the Ford Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge’s official page, Ford is challenging developers to come up with the “best mobile or web-based apps that will help customers easily access their personal fuel-economy performance data. With this data, using on-road personalized experiences, customers can share, compare and learn how to optimize their fuel usage.”
The developers must make use of Ford’s OpenXC development platform, which allows an android device to read and translate data from the car’s internal network, facilitating the development of what Ford calls “vehicle-aware applications.”
In remarks at the New York International Auto Show this week, Ford Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales and Service, and Lincoln, Jim Farley said, “We now have a torrent of ‘best-in-class’ claims hitting consumers from all sides, and it’s starting to become noise. We are seeing more and more confusion as consumers try to make informed decisions. Given the connectivity in our cars and the proliferation of mobile devices, we have the opportunity to give consumers better and more relevant data to understand what they can expect in on-the-road fuel economy performance.
“We need to help customers understand the concept of personal fuel economy – based on their own individualized experiences – and give them tools to see, learn and act upon all the information available to know what to expect, how to improve, and even offer guidance in their shopping process,” Farley added.
Submissions to the Fuel Efficiency App Challenge will formally open Wednesday, April 4. The public will get a chance to vote for its favorite app starting August 8, the same day Ford will begin judging all submissions. Voting and judging is scheduled to end August 22, with winners to be announced August 28.