- Ford at Web Summit announces Drive Efficient as the winner of SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin and €50,000 first-place prize
- Twenty-four hour competition to design apps for Ford’s SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system attracts 17 teams from countries including Germany, Russia, Brazil, the U.S. and South Africa
- Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, speaking at Web Summit technology conference in Dublin, calls on tech innovators to help improve people’s lives by collaborating on mobility
DUBLIN, Nov. 3, 2015 – Ford Motor Company today announced Drive Efficient as the winner of the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin – a 24-hour competition to design apps for Ford’s SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system.
Taking place ahead of Web Summit – a leading technology conference in Dublin – the Challenge attracted more than 17 teams of app developers from countries as far afield as Germany, Russia, Brazil, the U.S. and South Africa.
A panel of judges representing Ford’s technology development team and partners named Drive Efficient the winner of the €50,000 first-place prize and recipients of the opportunity to develop new apps with Ford.
Ford’s SYNC with AppLink enables drivers to voice-control apps while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Created by a team from German urban mobility experts Unu, the winning app design can help people drive more fuel efficiently by monitoring whether they are over- or under-revving the engine, and whether they are making best use of the engine’s torque. The app provides verbal and visual feedback to encourage good driving behaviour and warn when fuel consumption could be improved.
“I was blown away by the creativity I saw here today. Working with innovators from outside of the automotive industry is a proven way of generating ideas that can enhance the driving experience, as evidenced by the quality of the app designs presented during the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “Ford Motor Company is tapping into talent like Unu that can generate truly innovative and disruptive ideas with the potential to be translated to reality.”
The SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin offered €75,000 prize money in total, and Ford also partnered with leading advisory firm WeiserMazars to offer services worth up to €25,000 for winning entrants.
Ford provides software and technology to the app developer community through the SYNC AppLink Developer Program – the auto industry’s only app developer program – making it easy for developers to create new experiences for Ford customers.
Bill Ford at Web Summit
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford today called on the automotive industry and tech companies large and small to work together to transform urban mobility and improve lives in today’s connected world, during a live-streamed interview with Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde on the Centre Stage at Web Summit.
Ford emphasised that collaboration between start-ups, entrepreneurs, inventors, and technology companies will be critical in developing new solutions for tomorrow’s biggest transportation challenges.
“We were a car and a truck company and we’ve redefined ourselves as a mobility company. We have to imagine a future not just as makers of cars but as transportation providers,” said Ford. “The role for us as a company is to improve the lives of our customers and that’s what we are thinking about all the time. And it’s going to take partnerships with big tech companies as well as start ups.”
Fostering a revolution in mobility
Innovation in mobility at Ford Motor Company is driven by megatrends including: urbanisation; rapid growth of the global middle class; air quality, health risks, climate change and resource constraints; and changing consumer attitudes. Through multiple global Ford Smart Mobility projects and challenges, the company is using advanced technology to address these megatrends with a focus on two key areas: flexible use and ownership of vehicles and multi-modal urban travel solutions.
Ford is fostering cross-industry collaboration and innovation with projects including the Innovate Mobility Challenge Series and Techstars Mobility, Driven by Detroit.
Also at Web Summit, Butler will deliver a speech entitled: “Car Connectivity: How Software is Changing the Driving Experience.” The speech will be on the Machine Stage at 14:50 GMT on Nov. 4.