Ford Motor Company announced the 10 finalists of their Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit contest. Several of these apps sound really promising.
Recently, Ford offered an open-source version of their SYNC software to more than 170 developers from around the world. These developers built apps as part of the Ford app pursuit contest which coincided with the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show. At this event, developers worked with Ford engineers using Ford data and data sets from the City of Los Angeles. Teams then shared their apps and ideas with a panel of experts. Here are the top 10.
Live Drive – Developed by a team from Kelley Blue Book, Live Drive turns safe driving into a fun, social game using real-time traffic data collected from the vehicle. Features include live feedback on aggressive driving with tips on how to improve, parent feedback mode and fun mode that allows you to compete against your friends on a leaderboard.
Joyride – Exploration meets social networking in this app that notifies drivers when they are near an interesting location. Developed by Rockfish, Joyride allows users to find a place to play, eat and learn about a new city they are in, and will tell drivers what is interesting based on user input and preferences or places that their friends have visited and liked.
Pure Focus – Developed by a team from IBM, Pure Focus builds better drivers through reward-based programs. Drivers can track their safety and share or challenge friends to be safer drivers through an online community of user-driven content. Features include “car-to-car,” which allows users to connect with other drivers and provide feedback on their driving, as well as notifications when drivers enter dangerous neighborhoods.
MapRadio – Developed by a team from Slovenia, MapRadio offers a personalized driving experience based on user input and interests. Features include weather, traffic, calendar integration, personalized news, accidents, local music, contextual offers, car diagnostic data and routing.
Trace – Swipe expenses away with this app developed by a team at Concur. Employees no longer have to estimate mileage for expense reports when traveling for business. Trace pre-populates fields when the driver gets into the car and enables the user to log and reconcile expenses at the end of the day.
FuelSignal – Developed by FuelSignal, this app is a GPS application that alerts drivers when their fuel level is low and finds the nearest gas station. Users receive a discount on gas and can also pay by mobile wallet at the pump.
myLifeSync – This app is an intelligent companion inside and outside the car, bringing information together to reduce driver workload and increase safety. Developed by Lochbridge, the app processes information from the cloud and aggregates data that is relevant to daily life, including preferences, needs and work schedules for easy access in the car.
Notify – Developed by independent developer Igor Barinov, this app reads notifications from any smartphone app through SYNC. Notifications from apps including calendar reminders, weather notifications and even text messages are read aloud through SYNC so the driver doesn’t have to look at their phone.
iAlert – This app is designed to help drivers save time and relieve stress by automatically checking vehicle diagnostic data such as tire pressure, then generating alerts and identifying and scheduling an appointment at the driver’s preferred dealer or service location. iAlert was developed by a team from Progressive Insurance and Traction Labs.
3sACrowd – Developed by Alcatel-Lucent, 3sACrowd offers callers a more private experience by using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to detect if there are other passengers in the car. The caller then has the option of declining to place the call if privacy is preferred, and the driver receives a notification about the private call.
These finalists will have two months to refine their apps before final judging at the Connected Car Expo at the 2015 LA Auto Show. The grand prize winner will receive a prize package including a feature announcement spot at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show.
While all of these apps sound pretty cool, our favorite is 3sACrwod. There is nothing worse receiving a personal Bluetooth call while you have a car full of passengers. We are pretty sure, not everyone needs to know you have to pick up milk and bread.