About Commuting in Shanghai

With a population of nearly 24 million people, Shanghai has been called “the New York of China, if not of the East.” (www.china.org.cn) This ever-growing and entrepreneurial city continues to rise to the challenging tasks of supporting and regulating the housing, transportation, and general daily movement of such a large-scale group of people. 

The authorities of Shanghai have invested in numerous ventures to assist commuters (who may spend multiple hours commuting between home and work each day). Traveling by car is, by and large, out of the question for most residents. Shanghai is one of four Chinese cities that limit car purchases by imposing quotas on registrations. The prices paid at Shanghai’s license auctions in recent months—up to 90,000 Yuan (USD$14,530)—have exceeded the cost of many entry-level cars (businessweek.com).

Commuting by bike or foot can be effective in some areas, but after the 2010 unveiling of the "One City, Nine Towns" concept, it became an unavailable option for the half million people who were transplanted to the ring of nine residential areas surrounding the city center. (www.atimes.com)

While this shift in residence may have eased urban street congestion somewhat, it did not necessarily make the daily commute much faster or more enjoyable. In a 2010 article, a Shanghai Metro Operation Center noted: “every carriage on Line 8 is 32 percent overloaded at all times and 70 percent overloaded during peak hours.” (www.chinadaily.com.cn)

While China continues to work on the second largest public works program in world history – with plans to spend more than $1 trillion on expanding its railway network from 78,000 km in 2010, to 110,000 km in 2012, and 120,000 km in 2020 (www.thetransportpolitic.com) – there are likely other ways that the global community can make daily life better now for urban and long-range commuters in cities like Shanghai.

Examples of cities with urban commuter populations that could use your help include (but are not limited to) Beijing, Seoul, Moscow, Tokyo, New York City, Hong Kong, Paris,  London, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, and more.


APIs & Data

Although no specific API or data integration is required, your app must focus on increasing quality of life for urban and long-range commuters in cities like Shanghai. 

Know of a relevant resource that's not listed here? Share it with us at support@challengepost.com!

Here are a few APIs, datasets, and tools you might find useful:

Shanghai Information


SYNC® AppLink™

SYNC AppLink is a suite of APIs that provides the capability for mobile developers to AppLink enable their mobile applications. Developers have the ability to extend the command and control of the mobile application’s features to the vehicle occupants in a responsible, non-distracting way through the use of familiar in-vehicle Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) such as SYNC Voice Command, Steering wheel and radio buttons.

The applications run on the mobile device without the need to install any third party software on the vehicle head unit. The AppLink APIs exchange program data as well as command and control information over a known transport layer allowing SYNC to exchange messages with an AppLink enabled application in a pre-determined format. This technology is similar to how Bluetooth phones and digital media are integrated and used on the SYNC production platform.

Learn more at the Ford Developer Site: https://developer.ford.com/ 


OpenXC is an API to your car that offers drivers more insight into how their cars run. Using the OpenXC platform, you can access the OpenXC data and start making vehicle-aware applications even if you don’t have a Ford or even a car.

Using the OpenXC vehicle interface you can read vehicle data real-time — like the steering wheel angle, GPS position, and vehicle speed. Currently, OpenXC supports over a dozen different measurements on a growing list of Ford vehicles. To get started review the OpenXC site to get access to OpenXC-formatted vehicle data, important documentation, and OpenXC FAQs.

Resources for Native Android Apps. For Android app development, make sure you check out the Android Library Setup and App Tutorial pages on the OpenXC site.

Please note that if you want to use OpenXC to interact directly with a Ford vehicle, you’ll need to download the closed source CAN translator firmware directly from Ford and sign a developer agreement.

Resources for Web Apps and Testing. 

And More… 


Bug Labs Real-Time Messaging and Visualization Tools

Get your OpenXC-equipped Ford sharing data on the Internet in minutes!  Challenge participants have the opportunity to use the dweet™ real-time messaging service and freeboard™ dashboard/visualization platform, free of charge, to easily develop innovative mobile and desktop applications. Both products come with complete documentation, sample code and tutorials!


Non-distracting In-Vehicle Interfaces

To be eligible, all submitted apps must conform to In-Vehicle Approval Criteria from Ford for safe and non-distracting in-vehicle interfaces, if the intent is to use the app while driving. For more information, see the national generally accepted principles for in-vehicle interfaces.


Recorded Version of Sept. 25th, 2014 Google Hangout

Did you miss Ford’s Google Hangout QA? Have no fear! You can watch the recorded version with  Venkatesh Prasad, Senior Technical Leader, Open Innovation at Ford below.


More Questions?

For questions about the Urban Commuter Challenge, email Support@ChallengePost.com, or post them to the Discussion Board.