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

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 ford.challengepost.com.

A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. 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.