Could your car earn money while you holiday?

September 12, 2016

Imagine you could avoid parking fines, make money from your car while it’s parked at an airport, or fuel it without visiting a filling station.


These are among the concepts behind eight smart apps designed to help improve mobility that were the winners of a 24-hour coding challenge organised by Ford.


Further apps, including an in-car call management service, a ride-sharing service connecting drivers and hitch-hikers, and an efficient way to maximise load-carrying in trucks, are all designed to make life easier for drivers, build communities, make businesses more efficient and help make healthier cities.


The apps were developed against the clock for the first Ford SYNC AppLink Mobility Challenge, held in Berlin during IFA – the world’s leading consumer electronics trade show. Ford hosted the challenge at Factory Berlin – Germany’s largest campus for start-ups and innovators.


Attracting 35 teams and 75 developers from 10 countries, the winners will receive significant support – including a cash prize of €20,000 to one winner, five slots in the Techstars program Startup Next, Ford AppLink Mobility Edition, and two wildcard slots into Berlin’s premier accelerator programme Axel Springer Plug & Play.


The eight winning apps were:

  • Autlo – automatically pays for parking without the driver needing to worry about parking tickets or potential fines (Techstars winner)
  • BeeRides – enables car-owners to park at airports for free and rent out their cars with full insurance coverage to those arriving (Techstars winner)
  • Ellis Car – analyses automotive and road data to help drivers improve their driving skills and reduce their fuel consumption (Axel Springer winner)
  • Hal – enables drivers to easily dial into teleconferencing providers such as Skype and Google Hangouts (Techstars winner)
  • Make My Day – provides the optimal route for running errands and informs the driver in advance how long each task will take (Axel Springer winner)
  • POMP – delivers fuel to companies and individuals, saving drivers from going to filling stations themselves (Techstars winner)
  • Smart HitchHike – provides a ride-sharing service that connects drivers and hitch-hikers (Techstars winner)
  • Truckfly – locates empty trucks to help companies find the best carriers for their loads (cash prize winner)


“The creative ideas developed at the Ford SYNC AppLink Mobility Challenge in Berlin could enable people to go places, earn extra money, and get more out of their time behind the wheel with greater ease than ever before,” said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With innovative solutions for parking, car-sharing and other mobility services, the incredible range of new app ideas presented made it very hard to choose the winners.”