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Think you’re a more fuel-efficient driver than your friends? Now you can prove it!

March 15, 2013

Let’s face it: we spend a lot of money on cars. Our cars are the most expensive computers we own, yet most of us don’t know anything about how they perform. For instance, are you wasting gas by speeding up too quickly and braking too hard? How much money can you save by adjusting your driving habits?

It turns out that automobiles manufactured after 1996 collect data on vehicle performance. Information about fuel consumption, engine speed, braking patterns and even if your headlights are on or off is available, but is currently used mainly by mechanics. The problem is that consumers can’t easily access and understand the data that is stored in our vehicles. That’s where VELOcar comes in. VELOcar is the latest app designed by Zerofootprint, a Toronto- and New York City-based startup and MaRS client.

Vote VELOcar today! It’s up for best app in the US

Imagine driving your car and competing with your friends to lower your fuel consumption in real time. Imagine earning a discount on your insurance bill for being an efficient driver. VELOcar combines your personal vehicle data with useful tips to help you drive smarter. You can also team up with your friends to reach a collective goal of gas savings.

On March 18, VELOcar, along with seven other innovative apps, will compete to be crowned the best app in the United States Department of Energy’s Apps for Vehicles challenge. To show your support for Zerofootprint, please vote today for VELOcar in the contest. Visit VELOcar’s contest submission page, where you can vote and test drive the VELOcar app.

Drive smarter, save money

Zerofootprint’s VELOcar allows consumers to gain access to simple, fun and rewarding tools that help them understand their driving habits, ultimately leading to lower fuel consumption and savings of up to 30% on gas consumption. It does so by using hardware that’s already available—like British Columbia’s Mojio—to securely access vehicle data through cloud-based software.

Do Zerofootprint and Apps for Vehicles sound familiar?

They should! Last summer I wrote a blog post about how energy data apps were changing the way we understand our energy consumption. At the time, Zerofootprint had just won the Popular Choice Award Grand Prize in the Apps for Energy contest, and their energy data app, VELObill, won third place in the Best Overall Application Award.

VELObill provides consumers with their entire energy picture, including how much they spend on gas, water and electricity; whether their bill has gone up or down compared to the previous billing cycle; how their energy consumption compares to that of their peers; and methods they can use to save on energy costs. VELObill even goes a step further, showing consumers how to save, informing them who can provide help to accomplish such savings and offering tools to manage their plan of action.

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Jennifer Stoneburgh @ MaRS

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Jennifer is the associate for the Cleantech practice. She helps entrepreneurs in the cleantech sector access MaRS' advisory services, as well as other resources and educational material.

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