Ford's fuel-efficiency app call wants to decipher your car's brain

Ford has issued a challenge to software developers to urge them to create applications for smartphones and other connected devices that help customers optimize their personal fuel efficiency. Ford wants the apps to use the OpenXC platform. The goal for Ford is to help customers share, compare, and learn to optimize their own personal fuel efficiency when driving.

OpenXC is an open-source platform for software and hardware that was created to allow data to be pulled from vehicles and used by smartphones, tablets, and web applications. Ford says that OpenXC is something like an API for cars. Another nice thing about the open platform is that developers don't need a Ford vehicle to be able to write and test applications.

Ford says the only thing developers need to be able to create apps using OpenXC is a computer and a network connection. The platform data that developers need to write apps using the OpenXC is readily available online. Ford is offering a number of prizes to developers who participate in the challenge.

The grand prize for best overall app will when the developer $25,000. The second place prize is $15,000 and the third-place prize will be $5000. If developers create an honorable mention app, they will be awarded $3000 and the popular choice app will win $1000. Ford will also give out $100 each to the top 10 ideas entered.

[via Ford]