- Ford announces the winner of the first Traffic Tamer App Challenge; AppyParking app enables drivers to find and pay for public and private parking spaces
- More than 100 developers signed up for the challenge to design an app to help alleviate congestion in London; 40 per cent of entries used Ford’s research platform OpenXC that enables developers to access detailed data as regards their car use
- AppyParking wins $10,000 (€7,300) first prize for service that also enables drivers to view parking maps, pay city congestion charge, and find electric vehicle charging stations
- Ford plans crowd-sourced open innovation contests for five more cities worldwide
Ford Motor Company today announced that AppyParking is the winner of the Traffic Tamer App Challenge, which invited developers to submit smartphone apps to help alleviate traffic congestion in London.
More than 100 individual developers, teams and organisations signed up for the challenge to submit apps, with 40 per cent of entries using Ford’s OpenXC platform to access information from the developers’ own cars, including GPS coordinates, and even whether windscreen wipers and lights are on.
A panel of judges from Ford, University College London, Index Ventures, Tech Radar-Pro, and Pocket-Lint named the AppyParking app the winner of the $10,000 (€7,300) first prize. Created by U.K.-based Yellow Line Parking, the service also enables drivers to view parking maps of London, pay the city’s congestion charge, and find electric vehicle charging stations and spaces reserved specifically for disabled badge holders.
“Trying to find a parking space in a city can be a nightmare and AppyParking provides a single source of information covering all possible parking restrictions to save time for drivers and reduce congestion,” said Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader, Open Innovation, Ford Motor Company. “Most of the successful entries were freshly created for the challenge and any one of them has the potential to play a significant part in tackling traffic congestion.”
OpenXC enables developers to tap into more than 20 separate streams of data from Ford vehicles. This information can be utilised by apps to provide drivers with highly localised, up-to-the-second information about traffic, road and weather conditions as part of a connected car and transport network.
The Traffic Tamer Challenge awarded a total of $25,000 U.S. (€18,000) in prize money. The Bandwagon app, which offers a ride-sharing service, finished second overall; and the Best Route app, which leverages OpenXC and GPS data to help drivers choose the fastest route to their destination, finished third. Further category winners included the Should I Take My Car? app that uses maps, traffic and roadwork information, public transport schedules and weather information to help users choose the optimal method for their journey – from car, public transport, cycling or walking.
“Working with companies like Ford is very exciting for developers and winning the Traffic Tamer App Challenge will really help put AppyParking on the map,” said Dan Hubert, one of the founders of AppyParking, which launched this year. “We've had a fantastic download rate with a really high percentage of returning users for our iOS version so we're really excited about launching for Android soon and further developing the app.”
Ford is now planning a roll-out of crowd-sourced open innovation contests for five more cities in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and again in Europe. The locations will be announced at a later date. Future challenges also may expand from developing software applications for smartphones and mobile devices to creating hardware solutions.
“Connectivity technology can use the power of ‘the crowd’ to deliver solutions that no single public or private entity can,” Prasad said. “Democratisation of innovation through programs like the Traffic Tamer App Challenge and OpenXC enables developers to create apps that use data from thousands of users – even something as simple as a ‘thumbs-up’ or a ‘thumbs-down’ – to improve mobility for everyone.”
# # #
The full list of Traffic Tamer App Challenge winners is:
- Grand Prize – AppyParking
- Second Prize – Bandwagon
- Third Prize – Best Route
- Large Organisation Recognition Award – Should I Take My Car?
- Popular Choice – AppyParking
- OpenXC Integration Prize – Best Route