[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 234 (Wednesday, December 5, 2012)]
[Pages 72337-72341]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29416]



Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Apps for Vehicles Challenge

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of a Competition.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 
administration of a prize competition (Challenge) titled ``Apps for 
Vehicles: improving safety and fuel efficiency through technology 

DATES: See, 1. Key Challenge Dates & Deadlines in SUPPLEMENTARY 

ADDRESSES: The Apps for Vehicles Challenge is available for review, 
participation and submissions at appsforvehicles.challenge.gov.

Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, EE-20, 1000 
Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585; email: 
    Mr. Matthew Loveless, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Public 
Affairs, 7A-145, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585; 
email: Matthew.Loveless@hq.doe.gov.


I. Key Challenge Dates & Deadlines

October 1, 2012 = Vehicle Data Challenge announced at the Energy 
December 5, 2012 = Challenge officially opens.
January 15, 2013 = Deadline for first phase submittals.
February 1, 2013 = Phase I Finalist Teams announced.
Early February 2013 = Finalist Teams engage industry leaders to refine 
ideations and products.
March 15, 2013 = Deadline for second phase; final product submittals.
April 1, 2013 = Winners announced.
May 2013 = Final cash prizes disbursed.

II. Introduction

    The Administration launched the Energy Data Initiative in 2012 to 
liberate data as a fuel for innovation while rigorously protecting 
privacy. The primary fuel for the Energy Data Initiative is open data. 
Open data can take many forms but generally includes information that 
is machine-readable, freely accessible and in an industry-standard 
format. In particular, open data from the private sector made available

[[Page 72338]]

to consumers may spur a uniquely scalable degree of innovation. For 
example, enabling energy customers to securely access their own 
household or building energy data--via a ``Green Button'' on their 
utility Web site--has fueled the next generation of energy efficiency 
products and services. Within this context, the U.S. Department of 
Energy (DOE) is launching the Apps for Vehicles Challenge: Improving 
Safety and Fuel Efficiency through Technology Innovation (the 
Challenge). It is worth reiterating that safety--such as preventing 
distracted driving--is an essential goal of the Challenge.
    The Challenge seeks to provide drivers access to their own 
vehicle's data, safely and securely, in a readable, useful common 
syntax and format. A full description of the open data from vehicles is 
in Section V, but generally includes text-based information on things 
like vehicle speed, brake position, headlights on/off, and distance 
covered since restart. This vehicle data has long been available to 
mechanics and technicians using specialized equipment. But by applying 
open data principles, individuals will be able to readily access this 
on-board data directly through Bluetooth, USB, and other standard 
hardware. Associated platforms will enable vehicle owners to provide 
this data to authorized third-party developers to create and then 
deliver new apps, products, and services. As a result, these third-
party developers will help Americans while also creating jobs.
    Under Federal initiatives like the ``EV Everywhere'' Grand 
Challenge and new fuel economy standards, the DOE's Vehicles Technology 
program has a long-term role to play in the acceleration of automotive 
technology. Looking to a near-term project that can support this 
vision, a prize-based Challenge is an effective method to spur 
innovation with step-jump additions in the availability of new open 

III. The Prize

    This Challenge prize is a three-part combination of: (1) A cash 
award; (2) an opportunity to work directly with industry leaders; and 
(3) an opportunity to be recognized at a public announcement of the 
final winners. The Challenge prize will be awarded in phases and 
component pieces in two phases of competition. Phase I of the Challenge 
will cast a wide net to gather compelling ideas, business plans, 
product development plans, and very-early-stage products 
(``Ideations'') that address the Challenge's goals. Phase I concludes 
with a selection of Finalists that will be permitted to continue into 
Phase II and each Finalist will be awarded a small portion of the total 
cash pool, ranging from $1000 to $5000. During Phase II, Finalists will 
have an opportunity to refine their Ideations with industry leaders 
supporting the Challenge. These industry leaders will provide some 
combination of: technical guidance, customer analysis, market 
assessments, IT roadmap recommendations, and general consulting. 
Following consultation with industry leaders, Finalists will have a 
period of time to complete and submit their final software 
applications, web technology, or products (``Products'') for Phase II. 
Phase II winner(s) will be invited to a public announcement event 
hosted by DOE and its supporters and will also be highlighted on DOE's 
web site. For the purposes of this Challenge, the term Submissions 
(``Submissions'') refers to the total portfolio of Phase I Ideations 
and Phase II Products. The total cash prize pool, inclusive of all cash 
awards available to be made in Phases I and II, is $50,000.

IV. Authority and Prize Amount

    This Challenge is being conducted under the authority of the 
America COMPETES Act of 2010, 15 U.S.C. Sec.  3719. The total dollar 
amount of the prize pool is $50,000.00, subject to the availability of 
funds. DOE reserves the right to suspend, cancel, extend, or curtail 
the Challenge as required or determined by appropriate DOE officials. 
Nothing within this document or in any documents supporting the 
Challenge shall be construed as obligating DOE or any other Federal 
agency or instrumentality to any expenditure of appropriated funds, or 
any obligation or expenditure of funds in excess of or in advance of 
available appropriations. DOE will award a single dollar amount to 
winning Team(s) and each Team is solely responsible for allocating any 
prize amount among its member Contestants as they deem appropriate. DOE 
will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters 
between entrant members. It will be up to the winning Team to 
reallocate the prize money among its member Contestants, if they deem 
it appropriate.

V. Prize Eligibility

    To be eligible to compete within this Challenge all of the 
requirements stated below must be met:
    A. All Challenge entrants must be identified in their Challenge 
Submission under a named Team (``Team'').
    B. Each Team member(s) (``Contestant'') must be: citizens or 
permanent residents of the United States who are at least eighteen 
years old at the time of entry.
    C. Each Team that registers for the Challenge as an entity (or 
other than an individual), must be a lawfully organized entity 
established in accordance with applicable State laws and in good 
standing in their respective jurisdiction, with operations in the U.S. 
or its Territories or a foreign legal entity having an officially 
recognized place of business in the U.S. or its Territories. The Team 
must be able to receive payments that are legally made from the U.S. in 
U.S. dollars.
    D. The Team must have a bank account into which funds can be 
legally deposited from the U.S. in U.S. dollars.
    E. Based on the subject matter of the Competition, the type of work 
that it possibly will require, and the likelihood of any claims for 
death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss potentially resulting 
from challenge participation, Participant is not required to obtain 
liability insurance or demonstrate fiscal responsibility in order to 
participate in this Competition.
    F. The Team and all its Contestant members must agree to assume any 
and all risks related to the Challenge and waive all claims against the 
Federal Government and related entities, except in cases of willful 
misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of personal 
property, revenue or profits, whether direct, indirect, or 
consequential, arising from their participation in the competition, 
whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or 
    G. The Team shall submit all required documentation in English and 
any monetary figures shall be stated or referenced in U.S. dollars.
    H. DOE employees, employees of sponsoring organizations (including 
participating industry leaders and employees of their associated or 
affiliated organizations), and members of their immediate family 
(spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same 
household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to 
participate in the Challenge.

VI. Open Data Specifications

    There are many electrical and digital systems operating within 
vehicles. For this Challenge, the data resources that are to be used by 
entrants are the datasets that can be directly and legally accessed by 
vehicle owners on their own cars. The principal example of this data 
stream is available through the onboard diagnostics port, also known as 
OBD-II, which has been mandatory for U.S. cars since 1996. The OBD-II 

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contains hundreds of data messages regarding engine and transmission 
operation as communicated through the vehicle's controller area 
network, which is referred to as the CAN. The OBD-II port also 
frequently contains information on operator-adjustable items such as 
headlight or windshield wiper status. Additional hardware is 
commercially available for individuals to directly access their own 
vehicles' OBD-II data. However, to remove the need to acquire special 
hardware for this Challenge and to level the playing field, sample data 
will be provided by DOE and supporters of the Challenge (``Sample 
Vehicle Data''). The Sample Vehicle Data will contain the following 
representative types of data fields:
    1. Ignition status (on/off).
    2. Engine speed (average engine speed can be calculated).
    3. Vehicle speed (average vehicle speed can be calculated).
    4. Fuel level.
    5. Fuel consumed since restart.
    6. Odometer.
    7. Distance covered since restart.
    8. Longitude and latitude.
    9. Fuel efficiency.
    10. Condition based maintenance.
    11. Brake pedal status (on/off).
    12. Headlamp status (on/off).
    13. High beam status (on/off).
    14. Windshield wiper status (on/off).
    15. ABS status (on/off).
    16. Accelerator pedal position.
    17. Torque at transmission.
    18. Parking brake status (on/off).
    19. Door open status (open/closed).
    20. Steering wheel angle.
    21. Transmission gear.
    The above list of example data streams is not comprehensive and is 
subject to change. Multiple sets of data detailing different driving 
cycles may be made available.
    There are additional manufacturer proprietary data fields that also 
stream through the OBD-II port. Such proprietary and confidential 
data--such as those that deal with air bags--shall not be provided or 
considered at any point in the Challenge.
    Use of open vehicle data is mandatory to be considered for a prize 
in this Challenge. However, combining the value of this data with other 
non-open data--such as mashing up/combining the OBD-II with GPS 
technologies on a smart phone--is highly encouraged.

VII. Evaluation Criteria

    The protection of safety and privacy are paramount to both DOE's 
Energy Data Initiative and this Challenge. Any business plan or product 
that presents a clear or potential violation of this principle will be 
rejected by the judges. Each of the four criteria categories below has 
equal importance in the evaluation (i.e. 25% weighting for each).

Common Criteria for Both Phases

    Potential Impact: Each Submission will be rated on the strength of 
its potential to help individuals, organizations, and communities make 
informed decisions to improve their fuel efficiency.
    Creativity and Innovation: Each Submission will be rated for the 
degree of new thinking it brings to applications for the transportation 
sector, and the creativity shown in designing for impact.
    Use of Open Vehicle Data: Each Submission must make use of open 
vehicle data. Judges will be looking at both the depth of usage for 
each data stream and the breadth of different data streams that are 
integrated. The combination of the Sample Vehicle Data with other data 
sets--such as those that are universally generated by smart phones--is 
highly encouraged. You can find other sample datasets at http://www.energy.gov/developer.

Special Criteria for Phase I Ideations

    Plan Viability: Each Submission will be rated on the completeness 
of the Ideation and the evidence--such as can be demonstrated by 
documented/demonstrated experience--that the Team's proposal can 
actually be created in the remaining time period of the Challenge.

Special Criteria for Phase II Products

    Implementation: Each Submission will be rated on its ability to be 
immediately used by consumers, such as a vehicle owner being able to 
download an app onto their smartphone from a Web site or mobile app 
platform. User experience and interactive capabilities will also be 
assessed. Preference will be given to applications/products that are 
accessible to a range of consumers, including those with disabilities. 
Phase II needs to result in real products that can be used; not just 
illustrations or demonstrations.
    Submissions will be judged by an expert panel as well as the 
public. The expert judging panel will be appointed by DOE, may include 
both Federal and non-Federal personnel, and will determine Phase I and 
Phase II winners. The Popular Choice Product will be determined by 
public vote on Challenge.gov. Public votes may be displayed on the 
Challenge Web site, on a real-time basis, before being verified for 
integrity. These unverified votes will not necessarily reflect 
accurately the voting for the Popular Choice Awards. The winners of the 
Popular Choice Awards will be determined on the basis of the verified 
vote counts, as determined by DOE, and DOE reserves the right to 
suspend, cancel or extend the Popular Choice Product voting period at 
any time for any reason.

VIII. Submission Requirements

    The Administrator's computer, within the DOE's Office of Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is the official time-keeping device 
for this Challenge. The rules for Submissions--defined above as 
referring to both the Phase I Ideations and Phase II Products--by Teams 
are as follows:
    (a) Visit http://AppsforVehicles.challenge.gov and click ``Sign 
Up'' to create a ChallengePost account, or click ``Log In'' and log in 
with an existing ChallengePost account.
    (b) Register your interest in participating by clicking ``Accept 
this Challenge'' on the Challenge Web site in order to receive 
important Challenge updates. Registration is free; no purchase 
    (c) After you sign up on Challenge.gov, a confirmation email will 
be sent to the email address you provided. Use the confirmation email 
to verify your email address. As a registered Contestant, you will then 
be able to enter the Challenge by submitting an application that 
conforms to the requirements set forth herein.
    (d) Explore the Sample Vehicle Data and other resources available 
at energy.gov/developer.
    (e) For Phase I, create an Ideation. For Phase II, create a 
Product. Both Submissions must use the Sample Vehicle Data.
    (f) Phase I Submission Requirements: Between noon EST on December 
5, 2012 and noon EST on January 15, 2013, visit Appsfor 
Vehicles.challenge.gov confirm that you have read and agree to the 
Official Rules, and submit your application by including:
    1. A web link to your Submission.
    2. A text description of your Submission.
    3. At least one photograph, image, graphic, or design that visually 
captures key attributes of your Submission.
    4. Optionally, Submissions may include other data in addition to 
the Sample Vehicle Data to be used when judging the Submission.
    (g) Phase II Submission Requirements: Between noon EST on January 
15, 2013 and noon EST on March 15, 2013, visit 
AppsforVehicles.challenge.gov, confirm that you have read and agree to 
the Official Rules, and submit your application by including:
    1. A Web link to your Submission.

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    2. A text description of your Submission.
    3. At least one photograph, image, graphic, or design that visually 
captures key attributes of your Submission.
    4. Optionally, Submissions may include other data in addition to 
the Sample Vehicle Data to be used when judging the Submission.
    5. The Product must also include a demonstration video with 
contained audio to present the Product's purpose, value, navigation, 
and functionality.
    (h) Submission Rights:
    1. You must permit use of your Submission by both the public and 
DOE free of charge throughout the Challenge and for 12 consecutive 
months following the announcement of the Challenge winners.
    2. By sending in the Submission to this Challenge, you grant to 
DOE, and the other supporters a royalty-free license to: (i) post on 
Challenge.gov your Submission(s) and a link to the downloadable Product 
in the online store of the applicable software platform (e.g., Google 
Play) or, if not distributed through such platform, to your Web site; 
and (ii) publicize the names of Challenge participants (including the 
individual members of a team) and winners and their Submissions through 
media and events of DOE's choosing. Such license shall remain in force 
for the duration of the Challenge and for a period of no less than 12 
consecutive months following the announcement of the Challenge winners.
    (h) Submission Requirements: In order for Submissions to be 
eligible to win this Challenge, they must meet the following 
    1. Acceptable platforms--The Submission must be designed for the 
Web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device, console, or any 
platform broadly accessible on the open Internet.
    2. Data used--The Submission must utilize some portion of the 
Sample Vehicle Data. The use of data from other sources in conjunction 
with Sample Vehicle Data is strongly encouraged.
    3. No DOE logo--The Submission must not use DOE's logo or official 
seal in the Submission, and must not claim DOE endorsement.
    4. Functionality/Accuracy--A Submission may be disqualified if the 
software application fails to function as expressed in the description 
and video provided by the user, or if the software application provides 
inaccurate information.
    5. Third Party Approval--Submissions requiring approval from a 
third party, such as an app store, in order to be accessible to the 
public, must be submitted to such third party or app store for review 
before the end of the Challenge period. For any software platform that 
is not easily shared on the web before store approval, such as Apple 
iPhone, you may submit your working software Product using a web 
framework designed for those platforms (such as PhoneGap), and provide 
the required link to a video of your working application. DOE may 
request access to the Product in person or via device provisioning to 
verify any criteria or functionality of your Product.
    6. Security--Submissions must be free of malware. Contestant agrees 
that DOE may conduct testing on the Product to determine whether 
malware or other security threats may be present. DOE may disqualify 
the Product if, in DOE's judgment, the Product may damage Government or 
others' equipment or operating environment.
    7. No Previous Winners--Contestant may not submit a Submission that 
is substantially similar to a Submission that has previously been 
submitted by the Team to another contest and won a prize.
    8. The DOE will also screen Submissions for Team eligibility, IT 
security, and compliance with Challenge.gov's Terms of Participation. 
Once a Submission has been submitted, the Team cannot make any changes 
or alterations to any part of the Submission. Ideations and Products 
failing to meet Submission requirements or other Submission screenings 
will be deemed ineligible to win a prize. Posting an app to 
AppsforVehicles.challenge.gov does not constitute DOE's final 
determination of Team eligibility.
    9. Each Submission must be original, the work of the Team, and must 
not infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate the lawful rights of 
any individual or organization including intellectual property rights 
and proprietary rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any 
person or entity. Each Team further represents and warrants to DOE and 
the other sponsors that the Submission, and any use thereof by DOE or 
the other sponsors (or any of their respective partners, subsidiaries 
and affiliates), shall not: (i) Be defamatory or libelous in any manner 
toward any person, (ii) constitute or result in any misappropriation or 
other violation of any person's publicity rights or right of privacy, 
or (iii) infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate any 
intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, privacy rights, moral 
rights, or any other rights of any person or entity.
    10. It is an express condition of Submission and eligibility that 
each Team warrants and represents that the Team's Submission is solely 
owned by the Team, that the Submission is wholly original with the 
Team, and that no other party has any ownership rights or ownership 
interest in the Submission.
    11. A Team may contract with a third party for technical assistance 
to create the Submission, provided the Ideation or Product is solely 
the Team's work product and the result of the Team's ideas and 
creativity and the Team owns all rights to it.
    12. Each Submission must be in English or, if in a language other 
than English, the Submission must be accompanied by an English 
translation of the text.
    13. Submissions will not be accepted if they contain any matter 
that, in the sole discretion of DOE or its judges, is indecent, 
obscene, defamatory, libelous, in bad taste, or demonstrates a lack of 
respect for public morals or conduct. If DOE, or the judges, in their 
discretion, find any Submission to be unacceptable, then such 
Submission shall be deemed disqualified.
    14. Winners are responsible for both reporting and paying all 
applicable Federal, state, and local taxes payable from any prize 
amounts awarded under this Challenge.

IX. Additional Terms and Conditions

    Challenge Subject to Applicable Law: the Challenge is subject to 
all applicable Federal laws and regulations. Registering for this 
Challenge constitutes each Team and/or Contestant's agreement to these 
Official Rules (``Official Rules'') and administrative decisions, which 
are final and binding in all matters related to the Challenge. 
Eligibility for a prize award is contingent upon fulfilling all 
requirements set forth herein.
    Judges: The finalist Submissions will be judged by the judges 
listed at AppsforVehicles.challenge.gov or by another qualified judging 
panel selected by DOE at its sole discretion. The judging panel will 
judge the Submissions on the judging criteria identified in these 
Challenge rules in order to select winners in each category.
    Publicity: Except where prohibited, participation in the Challenge 
constitutes each winner's consent to DOE's and its agents' use of each 
winner's name, likeness, photograph, voice, biographical information, 
opinions, and/or hometown and state information for promotional 
purposes through any form of media, worldwide, without further 
permission, payment, or consideration.

[[Page 72341]]

    Liability and Insurance: Any and all information provided by or 
obtained from the Federal Government is without any warranty or 
representation whatsoever, including but not limited to its suitability 
for any particular purpose. Upon registration, all participants agree 
to assume and, thereby, have assumed any and all risks of injury or 
loss in connection with or in any way arising from participation in 
this competition, development of any application or the use of any 
application by the participants or any third-party. Upon registration 
all participants agree to and, thereby, do waive and release any and 
all claims or causes of action against the Federal Government and its 
officers, employees and agents for any and all injury and damage of any 
nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether 
direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), 
arising from their participation in the contest, whether the claim or 
cause of action arises under contract or tort. Upon registration, all 
participants agree to and, thereby, shall indemnify and hold harmless 
the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents for any 
and all injury and damage of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or 
thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and 
whether foreseeable or not), including but not limited to any damage 
that may result from a virus, malware, etc., to Government computer 
systems or data, or to the systems or data of end-users of the software 
and/or application(s) which results, in whole or in part, from the 
fault, negligence, or wrongful act or omission of the participants or 
participants' officers, employees or agents.
    Records Retention and FOIA: All materials submitted to DOE as part 
of a Submission become DOE records and cannot be returned. No 
confidential information will be accepted with any Submission. 
Submitters will be notified of any Freedom of Information Act requests 
for their Submissions in accordance with 29 CFR Sec.  70.26.
    508 Compliance: Participants should keep in mind that the 
Department of Energy considers universal accessibility to information a 
priority for all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. 
In this regard, the Department is strongly committed to meeting its 
compliance obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 
1973, as amended, to ensure the accessibility of its programs and 
activities to individuals with disabilities. This obligation includes 
acquiring accessible electronic and information technology. When 
evaluating Submissions for this contest, the extent to which a 
Submission complies with the requirements for accessible technology 
required by Section 508 will be considered.
    Public Voting: DOE is not responsible for, nor is it required to 
count, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful, or illicit 
votes, including those secured through payment or achieved through 
automated means.

IX. Contact Information

Department of Energy, Office of Public Affairs, 7A-145, Attn: Vehicle 
Data Challenge, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585.
    For questions about these official rules, contact 

    Issued in Washington, DC on November 29, 2012.
Ian J. Kalin,
Presidential Innovation Fellow, Office of Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-29416 Filed 12-4-12; 8:45 am]