Ford invites all makers, hackers and developers interested in helping drivers improve their fuel economy to enter the Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge.

The deadline to enter is July 24.

The competition, announced at this year’s New York International Auto Show by Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln, encourages innovation through Ford’s open-source OpenXC connectivity platform.

Farley, a new addition to the judging panel, is joined by Nizar Trigui, Ford global chief engineer for vehicle energy management; Rahul Sood, general manager and partner, Microsoft Ventures; Wolfgang Warnecke, Shell chief scientist for mobility; Tim Stevens, former editor-in-chief, Engadget; and Frederic Lardinois, writer, TechCrunch.

These six judges join Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford research and innovation; Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop; and Venkatesh Prasad, Ford senior technical leader for open innovation.

“We are greatly enthused by the response we’ve received to the Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge,” says Mascarenas. “The ideas and applications submitted to date are a testament to how important maximizing fuel economy is to drivers.”

Ford said the OpenXC platform enables developers to create apps and accessories that connect to vehicles using software source code and hardware design specifications that are freely accessible – reducing the barriers to innovation. OpenXC can be used to read a wide array of data from the vehicle’s standard on-board diagnostics port, and process these data in real-time or later, to create value-added accessories or applications.

The Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge is one way Ford is encouraging developers and makers to use OpenXC.

The challenge invites software developers and hardware hackers to create apps that will help drivers better understand how they use fuel.

Developers can use the open-source software and hardware development kit to create Android or Web-based apps that take advantage of available data such as vehicle speed and location to empower drivers to make smarter mobility choices.

Developers of the winning apps share $50,000 in cash prizes with $25,000 going to the best overall app selected by the judging panel.

Participation in the challenge is not limited to app developers; anyone can create a free account and vote. The top 25 ideas – based on the number of votes – will move on to be scored by the judges, with the top 10 each winning a cash prize of $100. Voting is open to the public by signing up for a free account at

Visitors also can vote for the Popular Choice Award in the Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge. The winner gets $1,000.