Drive Efficient tells you how to stay appy with fuel consumption
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.
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.
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
Many people could benefit from this app but is using less fuel what the board members of the car companies want? Consider the emphasis on squeezing more power out of an engine, but then not using that to achieve better mileage. Consider the emphasis on ephemeral gadgets and form over function. When was the last time a car maker gave the curb weight when bragging about use of light weight construction? When was the last time a car maker gave the drag coefficient when bragging about improved aerodynamics? When was the last time a car maker gave specifics on the new improvement in weight reduction or drag to the milage? Or bragged about being the most efficient car maker, giving specifics? These are extremely important to low income buyers and the frugal consumer, but nothing but lip service is paid, no specifics. I want the facts, not hype.
For these reasons, I do not expect to see this app offered.