Up to €14,000 in cash and non-cash prizes are available. VW is looking for ideas to create infotainment applications in its future multi-media on board systems.

German automaker Volkswagen has announced details of a contest it is sponsoring called "App My Ride".

The challenge is for participants to create new software applications to be part of a multi-media platform in VW cars.

"Our aim is to invite the international developer community to take part in designing a future system," said VW Group research chief Prof. Dr Jürgen Leohold. VW wants input from programmers around the world on developing the best infotainment systems in the industry.

The "App My Ride" project takes it inspiration from the boom in smart phones and the applications that come with them that drive consumer trends such as social networking and viewing Internet content on hand-held devices.

The "innovation community" project will go live at the URL app-my-ride.volkswagen.com on May 3. Would-be participants can go to the site and upload their programs or write in their ideas for that one, great application. To win, contestants must contribute not only the original idea but a graphic user interface and underlying software program in Adobe Flash/Flex.

Both cash and non-cash prizes worth up to €14,000 are for the taking. There is also a separate prize for student participants. The winner of the contest will be hosted by VW at a new car presentation at a major event sometime later.

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