Automobile manufacturer Ford has initiated an open innovation challenge for developers all over the world. The company announced the Innovate Mobility Challenge Series, inviting developers to create apps for automobiles, based on the company’s challenges. The challenges started on July 15, in three countries, namely, Portugal, United States and India.
The challenge currently spans over eight locations in the world, including, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Shanghai, Johannesburg and the entire country of Argentina. Ford has designed the challenges based on the needs in these locations.
- For Lisbon, it asks developers to optimise the delivery of goods and services in a sustainable way for cities, specifically targetting those with less than 600,000 people. Apps for this challenge have to be submitted within October 14.
- In Mumbai, Ford has the Monsoon App Downpour challenge, which will focus on improving mobility during inclement weather. Delhi brings the SUMURR Golden Hour challenge, which aims to reduce the time taken to get care after a traumatic event. The Chennai challenge is the SUMURR mHealth challenge, which focuses on leveraging information to provide health services to rural areas.
- In LA, the company has started the Parking Lots 2.0 challenge. This aims to repurpose and rethink outdoor surface parking lots.
- The Urban Commuter Challenge in Shanghai aims to improve mobility through apps.
- The Johannesburg challenge allows developers to create accessories that improve mobility.
- In Argentina, students and developers are being challenged to the Future of Mobility challenge. This looks at improving overall mobility in Argentina, related to aspects like urban planning, new models for public and private mobility etc.
Ford has put up a prize money of $30,000 for each challenge, with the winners getting a grand prize of $15,000. Developers can use any platform, including Ford’s own OpenXC platform. In addition, developers can submit apps for any city, irrespective of where they themselves reside. The winning apps will then be used in Ford automobiles or developed further. They may also be integrated into the Ford Sync feature in the company's automobiles.
The company has also specified that individuals or organisations with less than 50 employees can compete for the prize money. Larger organisations can compete for the non-cash Large Organisation Recognition award.