Ford Officially Starts OpenXC Fuel Efficiency App and Ideas Challenge

Sections: Fuel Economy, Telematics

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Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge promo image

(Image courtesy Ford Motor Company.)

A few weeks back, we told you about Ford’s OpenXC Personal Fuel Efficiency App Challenge, where the automaker was asking developers to submit their best fuel efficiency-related app. The challenge is now officially underway.

A Ford press release distributed to the media Wednesday, April 24 said, “The Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge was announced last month at the New York International Auto Show by Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln, with the goal of providing drivers with tools that show how they are using fuel and where they can save.”

Ford is making available the OpenXC hardware and software platform, which allows developers to read a “wide array” of real-time vehicle data and export it into either mobile or web-based apps to help coach drivers on fuel efficiency techniques. That might be suggesting more fuel-efficient routes or coaching drivers on smooth takeoff and stopping, for example.

The app submissions will be evaluated on three primary criteria, Ford said:

  • Viability: Since the goal of the challenge is to help drivers better understand their personal fuel consumption, making the app as easy to use as possible is critical to success. Automated data capture and analysis that minimizes the need for driver self-reporting will make apps more viable
  • User interface: Whether on a smartphone or in a desktop browser, user interfaces that present tangible information the driver can actually use and act upon are preferable to basic data visualization
  • Vehicle data: Developers will get higher marks for innovative employment of vehicle data, including fusion of multiple data types into meaningful signals, that can help the driver use less fuel

The app judged best of all entries will win $25,000 for the developer or team responsible for building it– Ford said the competition prize money is available to teams of up to 50 people. Second place will win $15,000, third place $5,000, and there is an honorable mention prize of $3,000. A “popular choice” winner will get $1,000. For more information about the challenge, check out the official site.

In addition, Ford will be giving out 10 $100 awards to non-developers who submit app ideas judged as the best. More information about that contest can be found at this site.

Ford Senior Technical Leader for Open Innovation Venkatesh Prasad said, “We see the car as a platform on which others can create and build solutions tailored to individual needs. OpenXC puts Ford at the leading edge of taking it to the next level by providing developers and drivers with easy access to the data they need to make smart decisions.”

The deadline for app and idea entries is Wednedsay, July 24.

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