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Down to the wire for final round of public voting in DOE Apps for Vehicles challenge

The public voting period for the final round of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) $50,000 Apps for Vehicles Challenge began on 18 March, and runs through 25 March. (Earlier post.)

Nearly 40 teams initially submitted ideas for the $50,000 Apps for Vehicles Challenge that seeks to improve safety and fuel efficiency through data innovation. Eight finalists were selected to move on to this second and final phase of the competition based on the business plans and product prototypes they submitted during the first phase.

The round one finalists received a modest cash award and access to transportation industry leaders to help the teams develop the final versions of their products.

There will be two grand prizes awarded in round two: one by the team of judges from the DOE’s Office of Vehicle Technologies, the other by popular choice (the voting). The two grand prie winners will split the remaining $34,000 from the total prize kitty (i.e., $17,000 each.)

The finalists are:

  • Green Button Gamer: this Driver Challenge is the merger of social apps and gamification of real world data. It will aggregate real time vehicle, phone, location and green button data sets to enable a user with a platform that lets them save energy and become a safer driver. Once registered, a user will be able to compete against themselves, a friend (celebrity in future releases), as a team (future release), and insurance companies (future releases) in energy and safe driver challenges. Green Button Gamer is going beyond its initial release that gamified users meter data to now gamify the driving experience.

  • Dash Labs: turns any vehicle into a “smart car” by providing real diagnostics and alerts, enabling the driver to maximize engine performance, minimize carbon emissions, and save money. A mobile utility plus hardware, it works in all cars post-1996 in the US. Pulling 200+ data points from the car sensors, as well as 100+ social and ambient data points (weather, traffic APIs), it provides real time diagnostics/alerts and historical data visualization, enabling the driver to maximize MPG, improve engine performance, gives tips/insights on carbon emissions and offset tools, as well as how to reduce running costs on gas, maintenance and insurance (along the marketplace model).

    Currently in closed beta test (tested in multiple makes/models/years of cars, as well as city, rural environments, as well as internationally in Panama, Canada, UK and France), with a Q1/2 2013 launch date.

  • pronounced (mo-jee-o) is cloud-connecting cars with a cellular device that lets apps on smart phones talk to virtually any car built after 1995. unlocks the data stored in a market of 290 million cars in the US and EU alone, growing 30M a year. Unlike factory embedded solutions that are only available in premium new cars, will be delivered on an open platform enabling 3rd party app developers to deliver apps and in-car services to just about any car already on the road.’s software developer kit will support apps for consumers, service providers and automotive retailers, connecting drivers to their driving world in real-time. Unlike many apps today, delivers automated, real-time and location-based services by using technology to intuitively anticipate the driver’s needs.

  • VELOcar: sources data from a number of devices and databases that read and communicate OBD II data. In addition, VELOcar sources auxiliary data to calculate fuel costs, greenhouse gas emissions and peer benchmarking. The data is then pushed to VELOcar where visualization and peer benchmarking filters are applied.

    VELOcar performs data exchange sending and receiving data to and from your car in real time. VELOcar can read data such as acceleration information, odometer, fuel efficiency, fuel level, vehicle speed, engine speed, fuel level, fuel consumed since restart, distance covered since restart and ignition status.

  • Fuel Economy Coach: based on actual vehicle data, road conditions, traffic, and personal driving habits, this app will not only show a driver’s fuel efficiency, but will tell hime or her how good or bad it is based on real world conditions. It will also coach drivers on how to improve their driving.

  • Drive5: this app makes feedback available to any driver, anywhere, and is based on 5 key metrics: real-time MPG, social energy feedback, route comparisons, journey average MPG and an overall performance score. Drive5 is cross-platform, designed using HTML5 web standards. Drive5 is designed to have maximum impact on driving behavior without causing driver distraction. It can be used alone or with an OpenXC enabled car for increased accuracy.

  • MyCarma: allows individuals purchasing a new car to predict fuel consumption based on their unique driving patterns, and see the dollars they could save by driving a more efficient vehicle such as a hybrid or a plug-in vehicle.

    The MyCarma application uses the phone’s GPS to capture an owner’s personal drive cycle. The result is the “Jane Public” drive cycle, specific to that individual. That personal drive cycle is fed into predictive vehicle models of new vehicles. These predictive models have been developed by combining previously captured Open Vehicle Data with the automotive design process known as Model-Based Design; creating vehicle models (ie. 2012 Toyota Prius model) that can accurately predict fuel economy when fed a drive cycle.

    The result is an estimate of the current fuel economy and the fuel economy that particular driver could expect to see on specific vehicles, based on that driver’s specific use pattern.

    Using the mobile app as opposed to an OBD logger slightly reduces the accuracy of the system, but the system remains significantly more accurate than the generic sticker and is highly scalable, the developers noted.

  • ecoTRX: this app enables consumers to achieve and report personalized fuel economy levels.


Kit P

"I wonder why I didn't see any mention of "driving less" in this article;"

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