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over 10 years ago

Tips on using the OpenXC platform

The submission deadline for the Ford Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge is July 24, 2013. As you continue working on your apps, reference these helpful tips on developing with and making the most of the OpenXC platform. 

Development pointers from Ford's OpenXC team

Data simulations are fine
You don't need an OpenXC vehicle interface or even a car to build an application for this challenge. There are a number of different traces of driving scenarios on the OpenXC website, such as city driving, highway, aggressive driving and more. These can be played back into an Android application and the app won't care that the data is simulated. Read more about app testing here

Web apps are fine, too
If you're thinking about building a web-based solution to the challenge, check out the Python-based example application. The example code can help you get past the less-than-exciting part of receiving vehicle data and storing it in a database for analysis. If you're interested in doing browser-based visualizations, the Trace Analyzer is open source, too. Take a look at that code for examples of how to use the D3.js and Chart.js JavaScript libraries with OpenXC data.

Using the Android Vehicle API
The OpenXC Android API is described on the OpenXC website, illustrating more use cases than just the measurement listeners from the "Hello Car" tutorial. You can use the API to get vehicle data on demand, or even pipe GPS data into the Android location framework.

The Android SDK Setup
Are you having trouble with the Android developer kit from Google? The Android Developer Tools (ADT) are now packaged as a complete, self-contained unit that contains the Android SDK, the Eclipse IDE and Java. If you've gotten stuck at some point in the installation process or while trying to build the Android "Hello World" app, take a step back, clear out the Android ADT installation and try again. The process is very streamlined, so if you feel like it's getting complicated, something in the setup is likely confused and your best bet is to start over

Loading a Trace File
Not sure what to do with the trace file you downloaded from Copy the trace files to your Android device's SD card. Or better yet, just download the trace files directly onto the device from the built-in browser, install the Enabler app, and an Android file manager such as the OI File Manager. Now you should be able to pick a trace file to play back from the enabler via the settings menu.

Still have questions?

If you have questions about the OpenXC Platform or specific applications you’re developing, visit the OpenXC Google Group. If you have questions about the Ford Personalized Fuel-Efficiency Challenge, post in the Discussion Forum or shoot us an email at