Ford Looking to App Developers to Help Increase Drivers' Fuel Economy

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Ford wants you to have a better understanding of how your driving impacts its vehicles' fuel efficiency, and the automaker believes the best way to do that is through your smartphone. To that end, Ford is launching its Personalized Fuel Efficiency Apps Challenge, a program that will award $50,000 to software developers who can create an app that helps consumers monitor their driving and fuel efficiency habits.

Developers will create the app using Ford’s OpenXC connectivity research platform, an open-source system made up of a software and hardware developer kit that gives developers access to vehicle's information via its onboard diagnostics port.Ideally, the app will take into account a vehicle's mileage, longitude, latitude, throttle position, engine and vehicle speed and both instant and accumulated fuel economy.

“With access to real-time data from inside and outside of the car, developers can create all types of applications, including plug-and-play hardware, to help consumers better understand and maximize their personal fuel efficiency,” said Venkatesh Prasad, Ford senior technical leader for Open Innovation.

Developers who enter the competition will have their apps evaluated based on how they use vehicle data, design and product viability. Those interested in entering the app challenge can do so via

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Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer on
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  • Ron Kramer Says:

    Open letter to Ford:

    I thought my 2013 C-MAX would be a Prius Killer? NOT! As a returning Ford buyer I feel deceived. I want to support US companies and US jobs. What was Ford thinking when they published 47/ 47/47 estimates? Based on the advertised EPA estimates, I would have been ok with low 40's but 28-33 mpg is not even in the ballpark. This is not an issue about EPA testing standards, but rather an issue about setting false customer expectations in order to promote sales. Ford's "47MPG" marketing campaign tarnished what should have been the roll out of a truly remarkable vehicle, the CMAX. Real world MPG estimates should have been promoted in the mid-30's. No one would have questioned those numbers and the CMAX would have received the accolades it deserves. How these MPG estimates made it through Ford corporate is beyond me! Maybe it was the rush to go to market? I have been accused of not knowing how to drive hybrid. For the record, during the last three years I have leased both a 2010 Prius and 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid, and consider myself an experienced hyper-miler. My mileage in the Prius is 50 plus, the Insight is 40 plus. The C-MAX is a well-built car, with extremely inflated EPA estimates. I respectfully request that this matter be investigated as soon as possible. My efforts to deal with this locally and through Ford customer service have frustrated me to no end. The constant response? "You need to learn to how to drive hybrid type of vehicle ". Is there a difference how I drive Prius Hybrid vs. the CMAX hybrid? I think we all know the answer to that. I need someone at Ford to reach out to me and assist in a proactive manner so we can put this matter to rest.

    Ronald Kramer Yankee Ford Customer
    South Portland, Maine

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