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US DOE launches Vehicles Data Challenge

As part of the Energy Datapalooza event in Washington, DC, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a challenge to to foster new technologies that can increase fuel efficiency while also addressing distracted driving concerns. The challenge will seek to recognize the best innovative technology solutions that vehicle owners can choose to use with their own private vehicle data.

DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also jointly announced the development of a new interface for data from the website. The API (application programming interface) will provide access to all of the data currently displayed in the “Find and Compare Cars” interactive tool, which includes model years 1984 through 2013.

The Energy Datapalooza is showcasing new products, services, and apps all built with freely available data from the government and other sources. The event includes demonstrations of mobile apps and web-based services that are available to families and businesses today, as well as previews of future inventions.

In addition, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is honoring the winners of the Department of Energy’s inaugural “Apps for Energy” challenge, whose inventions include innovative applications such as: Leafully, which uses creative comparisons to help consumers understand how their actions impact the world and their wallet; Melon Power, which helps building owners easily calculate their ENERGY STAR score; and VELOBill, which makes it easy to visualize energy usage data, compare it to peers, and make a plan to save energy.

Utilities and software companies there launched “Green Button Connect My Data” in California and the Mid-Atlantic. Green Button Connect My Data enables energy customers to securely and automatically transfer their own energy data to authorized third parties, if they choose to do so. It builds on previous commitments under the Green Button Initiative to help consumers download their own energy data to their desktops.




"Imagine it is a scorching hot summer day, and your smart phone beeps, asking if you’d like it to raise your home thermostat a degree or two to save money."

Ridiculous. Most people don't bother with a programmable thermostat, but if they did and those who do, do NOT need to reset it with their phone.

"Or, envision an easy-to-use software package that lets a building owner perform virtual energy audits at a fraction of the cost of in-person audits, so real savings are calculated instantly, building upgrades launched sooner, and construction jobs created faster."

Without an expert survey of the HVAC, construction and insulation in the building? Also ridiculous.

As for mobile apps, YES; interactive should soon be able to provide significant gains using local current traffic flow, your speed, traffic light timing, speed limit, etc.

It could solve the problem that instantaneous MPG is high while you have you foot on the brake, while best MPG is actually when you "never" brake - the secret is planning ahead.

Interactive should be able to do that for you without sending the driver behind you into a frenzy or distracting you from (even helping you with) "safe driving".

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