- Ford announces 10 App Pursuit finalists, including Trace, 3sAcrowd and myLifeSync, following the Ford Developer Conference, the auto industry’s first app developer conference
- More than 170 developers from around the world attended the Ford Developer Conference with more than 60 participating in an overnight App Pursuit hackathon leveraging data generated by Ford vehicles and city data provided by the City of Los Angeles
- An App Pursuit winner will be chosen during the Connected Car Expo being held Nov. 18-20 at the Los Angeles Auto Show; the prize package includes a feature announcement with Ford on stage at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show
More than 170 developers from 15 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Hong Kong and Japan, attended the Ford Developer Conference to learn how to develop in-vehicle apps using Ford’s SYNC AppLink™. AppLink enables drivers to access and control more than 60 compatible smartphone apps while in their vehicle through voice commands.
Developers were also provided with information on working with SmartDeviceLink, the open-source version of SYNC AppLink, which Ford made available to the open-source community early last year to enable all automakers to benefit from Ford’s vehicle-smartphone linking technology.
“Embracing open innovation and engaging the software developer community is critical for the future of the connected car and ensuring that we continue to keep pace with advances in consumer electronics,” said John Ellis, global technologist at Ford. “The feedback we’ve received from developers underscores the need for an open industry standard to reduce market fragmentation and make it easier for them to develop and integrate new apps for the car.”
Ford SYNC AppLink is already on the road in more than 1.5 million vehicles in North America and launches globally in Europe and Asia this year.
Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit
Immediately following the conference, developers were invited to participate in the Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit to create innovative apps that enhance or redefine the automobile’s role in a connected world.
Participants in the Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit leveraged Ford vehicle data as well as more than 200 data sets recently released by the City of Los Angeles (data.lacity.org). Ford AppLink and SmartDeviceLink engineers provided on-site support for developers throughout the hackathon and during the Connected Car Expo.
Competing teams presented their apps and ideas before a panel of expert judges on Sept. 11. The App Pursuit finalists include:
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.
Finalists will have two months to refine their apps by working with the Ford team before presenting at the Connected Car Expo at the LA Auto Show on Nov. 18-20, where a winner will be selected. The grand prize winner will receive a prize package including a feature announcement with Ford on stage at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show.
Developers interested in working with Ford and getting access to Ford APIs can register at http://developer.ford.com.
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