Ford Challenges Developers to Create an Efficiency App

Ford wants to help customers more accurately measure the fuel economy of their Ford vehicles to counter claims it has overstated the fuel economy of certain models.

Speaking last week at the New York Auto Show, Jim Farley, Ford head of global sales and marketing, announced the Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge.

Software developers can access Ford’s OpenXC onboard data platform to come up with their own app solutions.

Ford is offering up to $50,000 to developers who deliver hardware or software that helps drivers understand the effect of the elements and driving habits on their fuel economy.

“We need to help customers understand the concept of personal fuel economy, based on their own individualized experiences, and give them tools to see, learn and act upon all the information available to know what to expect, how to improve, and even offer guidance in their shopping process,” Farley said.

The announcement follows consumer complaints, class action lawsuits and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigation into the gap between mileage posted on new vehicle stickers and what drivers claim they are getting.

Ford has said it is working with the EPA and discussing whether the government tests need to be revised to better reflect real-world conditions.

“Given the connectivity in our cars and the proliferation of mobile devices, we have the opportunity to give consumers better and more relevant data to understand what they can expect in on-the-road fuel economy performance,” Farley said.