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Ford puts a $50,000 bounty on fuel efficiency apps

The automaker is offering cash prizes for apps that help drivers to optimize their vehicle's fuel economy using the OpenXC platform.

Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge logo

If you've got an idea for a great app that encourages increased fuel economy, Ford might have a check with your name on it. The American automaker has announced that it is sponsoring a $50,000 Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge to mobile and Web-app developers.

Apps that meet the challenge should make use of data from Ford's Android-powered OpenXC platform, which is able to send over a dozen different measurements from the host vehicle to connected third-party hardware and software in real-time, including the steering angle, GPS position, and vehicle speed. Challenge apps will be judged on their ability to help drivers to easily optimize their fuel economy, taking into account temperature, terrain, traffic conditions, individual driving styles, and a host of other factors that are ultimately the reason why the adage "your mileage may vary" rings so true.

"We need to help customers understand the concept of personal fuel economy -- based on their own individualized experiences," stated Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service, at a keynote address at the 2013 New York International Auto Show this week. The automaker says that the aim of the challenge is to help each driver to reach his or her personal optimal efficiency and to share that information with drivers.

A total of $50,000 has been posted to be awarded to the winners of the Ford OpenXC Challenge, which opens for submissions on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 on the automaker's Challenge Post page. More specific guidelines and details will be announced there on that date.