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 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 website — 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

The Challenge seeks to spur and highlight innovations from vehicle-generated open data.  The data streams are diverse, but generally include text-based information on things like engine 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.

Phase 2 of the Challenge will feature the final, working products from the previous Ideation Phase.


Only the Finalists from Phase 1 of the Apps for Vehicles Challenge are invited to Phase 2.  Finalists are listed at the following site:


Finalists from Phase 1 of the Apps for Vehicles Challenge need to transform their proposed Ideations into real Products.  Since Sample Vehicle Data is being offered as the fuel for these apps, the definition of "real" is intentionally broad.  We know what is not acceptable: only having a slide show, a white paper or a business plan.  The Product needs to actually work.

Hackathon Sponsors


$34,000 in prizes

Grand Prize - Judges Pick

Half of the remaining cash from the original $50,000 prize pool will go to the Team that best satisfies the Evaluation Criteria for Phase 2.

Grand Prize - Popular Choice

The team with the most votes will win half of the remaining cash from the original $50,000 prize pool.

Honorable Mention for Safety Innovation

Honorable Mention for Fuel Efficiency Innovation

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Only the Finalists from Phase 1 of the Apps for Vehicles Challenge are invited to Phase 2.  Finalists are listed at the following site:

Finalists must also comply with all of the Official Rules, which are available to view through the "Rules" tab at the top of this page.


Vehicle Technologies Office

Vehicle Technologies Office
Department of Energy

Judging Criteria

  • 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.
  • Implementation
    Each Submission will be rated on its ability to be immediately used by consumers. User experience and interactive capabilities will also be assessed. Preference will be given to applications/products that are accessible to a range of consumers.

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