We're all familiar with cars telling us how to get somewhere, but what about telling us how to do so efficiently? That's the idea behind the Drive Efficient app, which triumphed in Ford's SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin. The software provides visual and audio advice to drivers for frugal fuel use.
Ford's SYNC with AppLink allows users to interact with apps on their iOS or Android smartphone via voice-control, minimizing the need for them to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. Only last week, for example, we featured Meople.Connector, which allows drivers to listen to, answer and skip social media updates by voice command.
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The SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin competition sought ideas for innovative apps that would make use of the SYNC with AppLink functionality. More than 17 teams took part in the 24-hour contest, hailing from the likes of Germany, Russia, Brazil, the US and South Africa. It was judged by a panel representing Ford’s technology development team and its partners.
Created by the Unu team, Drive Efficient was the winner, with its aim of helping users to drive more efficiently. It monitors whether users are over- or under-revving their car engine and whether the engine’s torque is being made best use of. Users are provided with alerts if the app finds that fuel consumption could be improved, as well as verbal and visual guidance to encourage the requisite improved driving.
With Drive Efficient having been named the winner, Unu was awarded the €50,000 (US$54,350) first-place prize and an "opportunity to develop new apps with Ford." Indeed, Ford tells Gizmag that it is "certainly interested" in making Drive Efficient available for its customers and is just starting to discuss next steps with the developer.