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Caravan Track Wins Ford Apps Competition
May 24, 2010

In October of 2009, Ford Motor Company, the University of Michigan and Intel created American Journey 2.0 - a competition to create Ford Apps. The Journey 2.0 project was the jumping-off point for the “Cloud Computing in the Commute” class at the U of M – a class focused on creating new social networking applications for use in Ford cars. The Ford Fiesta research automobile could be outfitted with Caravan Track, the winner of the class competition.

How Caravan Track works

An application called Caravan Track won the competition built around the Cloud Commuting within the Commute class. This application is built to allow clusters of automobiles making a trip together to keep track of one an additional. When signed to the Caravan Track system, it will monitor every little thing from road hazards to fuel level of all autos on the trip. The Caravan Track system will even let the entire caravan know of rest areas, stop-over points, and restaurants in the area. Messages are pre-programmed into the touch screen, making certain the driver keeps their eyes on the road.

Five other Ford App Competition entries

There were six teams within the competition to create the best Ford American Journey 2.0 application. While Caravan Track won, the other applications still have the potential to be very useful. By using Facebook to match potential carpoolers together, GreenRide Challenge aims to lower total trip miles. By allowing self-reported road hazards with one-touch systems, NostraMap creates real-time maps of areas to keep away from. By tracking fuel economy, Fuel Tracker allows drivers to figure out the best mileage routes. Point-of-Interest is built to "learn" a driver's interests over time, and recommend companies and locations that the driver might find interesting. An application called “Listen. Speak. Rate. Share” is a voice-review app that gives verbal reviews of places along a driver’s route.

Ford Fiesta with Caravan Track

A specially-designed Ford Fiesta is going to be loaded up with Caravan Track and other experimental programs, then it will head out for Silicon Valley. On May14, this "research Fiesta" can be beginning a road trip to the annual Maker Faire and will attempt to social network the entire trip. It’s certain that students at the U of M will be watching this trip very closely.

Resources for this article:

Edmunds Blog

http://blogs.edmunds.com/strategies/2010/05/with-help-from-ford-students-create-the-future-of-in-car-cloud-computing.html

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