Locals create app that helps you save gas money


News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, March 22, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Two Augusta men have created a smartphone app that works on virtually every car and helps save money on gas.

"We can't change the price of fuel, but we can help you spend less on it," said Eric Parker, co-founder and manager of The Clubhouse.

The motto for these forward-thinkers -- who've come up with an app that helps keep your dollar bills out of the gas tank and in your wallet.

"Just the way you drive can effect your fuel economy by up to 30 percent," said John Bobbit, one of the inventors of the app. "And that's free, if you just change the way you drive. So what we looked at was how could we effect that."

What they came up with was the Fuel Economy Coach.

An idea in the works for years, but finally brought to light thanks to a Department of Energy contest called the Apps for Vehicles Challenge.

"About six weeks ago, we found out we were a finalist," said Steve Tibrea, co-inventor of the app. "And we had six weeks to turn that idea into a reality."

That's where small tech business, The Clubhouse, came in.

"What we are really interested in doing is using technology to kind of do things that are good for the community," Parker said.

If this app goes live, you would be able to download it straight on your smartphone.

And, every time you hopped in your car, you'd have a personal coach helping you save money, while helping the environment.

"When you're driving along, the app will be showing you three different colors -- red, yellow or green," Tibrea said. "Yellow means you're doing about average. Green means that you're performing very well in your fuel economy. Red, on the other hand, that's a color that you need to improve."

A simple, straightforward way to help you save money on gas.

Something anyone can appreciate when gas prices rise.

"If gas goes up, we have to charge our business customers more, which we try to keep our prices down. So then we eat that," said Diane Costello.

Costello runs a local business and loves the sound of the Fuel Economy Coach.

"I'd certainly try the app to start off with and see how much it saves me," she said. "And if it tells me about how my men drive, that'd be very helpful to me."

Everyone involved in this project is hoping to win the the Department of Energy contest for a better chance at going public with the app.

The contest is still going. Click here to support this local team.


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