The Problem

Over 19 million inhabitants and 6.2 million cars occupy the São Paulo Metropolitan Region, Brazil’s largest, while the municipality of São Paulo accommodates more than 11 million people and 4.2 million cars. The main modes of transport in the city are private vehicles, public transit, and walking. And while public transit is available, nearly half of the city’s households opt to commute by car. In fact, despite the congestion, car ownership in Brazil rose 32 percent to 7.4 million during the past decade. 

São Paulo’s metro network is small, with only 74km of track compared with 373km of track in New York City. As a result, the roads are packed full with buses - as well as personal vehicles. (


APIs & Data

Although no specific API or data integration is required, your app must focus combining the use of cars and public transportation in São Paulo City.

Here are a few tools you might find useful.



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… 


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 Ford’s Developer Site: 


Non-distracting In-Vehicle Interfaces

To be eligible, all submitted apps must conform to Ford’s In-Vehicle Approval Criteria  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.


More Questions?

For questions about the São Paulo Mobility Challenge, email, or post them to the Discussion Board.