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April 24, 2013

Develop an Efficient Driving App and Win Money

Car_mphDuring the past two years, plug-in car technology and innovation have spurred a new way of thinking about cars and their role in home energy efficiency, renewable power, and gas mileage.

Now, in a move that will help move the "connected car" vision, Ford has put forth a $25,000 cash prize to the person who most adeptly develops an app designed to maximize fuel efficiency. Another $25,000 will be split among runners-up. Ford will judge entries based on the ability of drivers to utilize the app to increase fuel efficiency, "taking into account temperature, terrain, traffic conditions, individual driving styles, and a host of other factors," reports CNET.

Because everyone drives differently in different locations and weather, fuel economy can vary even with the same car. The winning app would focus on the individual driver's fuel economy and conveniently compile data in a way similar to existing popular apps that map people's diet or personal finances. The contest, which starts taking entries today, gives a chance for tech-savvy web developers to show off their talents while also encouraging new ways mobile apps can reduce the number of trips to the gas pump. The deadline is July 24.

"This is another sign that innovation through mobile technology is pushing car efficiency to new levels," said Sierra Club's Director of Green Fleets & Electric Vehicles Initiative Gina Coplon-Newfield. "Smart phone apps are making it easier for people to get smart about reducing their vehicle emissions and fueling costs."

Vehicle-to-grid-technology EV chargers connected to solar panels, and mobile apps that allow EV drivers to remotely check their state of charge or the nearest public charging stations are just a few examples of how technology is entering an exciting era of enabling drivers to phase out oil and maximize efficiency.

Click here to take up the challenge.

-- Brian Foley

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