Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ford Empowers Makers to Innovate on TechShop Tour with Open XC; Judges Named for Fuel Efficiency App Challenge

  • Ford announces six more dates for makers, hackers and developers to learn about its open-source OpenXC connectivity platform at TechShop locations around the United States
  • TechShop CEO Mark Hatch, Ford Chief Technical Officer Paul Mascarenas and Ford Senior Technical Leader Venkatesh Prasad are the first three judges for the app challenge
  • Ford is empowering accessory and app developers by providing open-source hardware and software development kits
SAN MATEO, Calif., May 16, 2013 – As members of the Bay Area maker and hacker community gather this weekend for the eighth annual Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., Ford Motor Company invites them to explore open-source hardware and software tools now available to anyone who wants to work with cars.
Ford is hosting a series of open workshops at membership-based do-it-yourself maker space TechShop locations around the United States to help makers get started with the company’s OpenXC platform. The locations are:
  • San Francisco: June 21-22
  • Austin, Texas: July 19-20
  • San Jose, Calif.: Aug. 16-17
  • Pittsburgh: Sept. 13-14
  • Menlo Park, Calif.: Nov. 9-10
  • Chandler, Ariz.: Dec. 13-14
The OpenXC platform enables developers to create apps and accessories that connect to vehicles using software source code and hardware design specifications that are freely accessible – reducing the barriers to innovation. OpenXC can be used to read a wide array of data from the vehicle's standard on-board diagnostics port and process these data in real-time or later, to create value-added accessories or applications.
Ford is encouraging developers and makers to use OpenXC by sponsoring the Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge. Announced at the New York International Auto Show in March, the challenge invites software developers and hardware hackers to create apps that will help drivers better understand how they use fuel. Developers can use the open-source software and hardware development kit to create Android or Web-based apps that take advantage of available data such as vehicle speed and location to empower drivers to make smarter mobility choices.
Developers of the winning apps share $50,000 in cash prizes with $25,000 going to the best overall app selected by the judging panel. The panel will include Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop; Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation; and Venkatesh Prasad, Ford senior technical leader for open innovation, plus four judges still to be named.
“Enabling personal mobility for everyone through technological innovation has always been at the heart of what Ford is all about,” said Mascarenas. “Today more than ever, maximizing fuel efficiency is important to drivers and we see open-source technology as a key enabler.”
Participation in the challenge is not limited to app developers; anyone can create a free account and vote. The top 25 ideas, based on the number of votes, will move on to be scored by judges, with the top 10 each winning a $100 cash prize. Voting is open to the public by signing up for a free account at Visitors can also vote for the Popular Choice Award in the Fuel Efficiency App Challenge. The winner gets $1,000.
The deadline for entries in the Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge and the Ideas Challenge is July 24, 2013.

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