U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Vehicle Technologies Program
Apps for Vehicles Challenge Spurs Innovation in Vehicle Data
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Apps for Vehicles Challenge to encourage and highlight innovations in vehicle open data. The Challenge is part of the President's Energy Data Initiative, which seeks to liberate data as a fuel for innovation while rigorously protecting privacy. The Challenge offers access to industry leaders in transportation, as well as a $50,000 cash prize pool.
In the past, vehicle data such as engine speed, brake position, and distance covered since restart has only been available to those with specialized equipment. But now, new hardware technologies, GPS, smart consumer electronics and the advent of cloud computing is making this on-board data increasingly accessible to vehicle owners. Through the dissemination of this data, developers can create new apps, products and services which will help Americans drive more safely and efficiently. The Challenge demonstrates the Department's belief in the importance of open vehicle data and is meant to encourage entrepreneurs to take full advantage of its potential.
In Phase I of the Challenge, contestants will submit compelling ideas and product development plans, and very early-stage products. Judges will evaluate the plans according to potential impact, creativity and innovation, use of open vehicle data, plan viability, and implementation. At the end of Phase I, DOE will award five contestants a small portion of the total cash pool and the opportunity to refine their products with industry professionals supporting the Challenge. These industry leaders will offer some combination of technical guidance, customer analysis, market assessments, IT roadmap recommendations, and general consulting. Those five contestants will then move on to Phase II.
The official website with complete Challenge details is now live and accepting submissions. Phase I applications are due by January 15 with winners announced on February 1. DOE will announce the Phase II winners in April.