Write some code to save some folks some gas, and you might save about a quarter-century's worth, courtesy of Ford. The US automaker is getting closer to awarding its $50,000 prize for the Ford Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge, with the deadline for applicants coming up today.

The company will have nine judges, including those from the automaker as well as from companies like Microsoft and Shell, look over the entrants, whose producers have been asked "to create apps that will help drivers better understand how they use fuel." Ford's even got a one-minute video that you can watch below showing how someone (OK, that someone has to be really well-versed in writing code) can knock out a speed-measuring app in 30 seconds or so.

Ford, which announced the contest earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show, has been on a big fuel-efficiency push, especially with its expanded line of hybrids and plug-in hybrids this year. Last month, Ford's sales of hybrids and plug-ins surged almost sixfold to 7,736 vehicles.

Check out Ford's press release, along with the aforementioned video, below.

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Deadline Approaches to Win $50,000 in Ford Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge; New Judges Announced

July 24 deadline fast approaching to enter Ford's Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge; Ford is empowering accessory and app developers by providing open-source hardware and software development kits through OpenXC connectivity platform

Joining the panel of judges for the challenge are executives from Ford, Shell and Microsoft, along with tech influencers and reporters
$50,000 cash prize to be shared by creators who win the Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge; visit http://ford.challengepost.com to learn more

DEARBORN, Mich., July 19, 2013 – 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."

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 http://ideas.ford.challengepost.com. Visitors also can vote for the Popular Choice Award in the Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge. The winner gets $1,000.

Submissions for entry in the Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge can be made at http://ford.challengepost.com.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

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