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BoingBoing Ingenuity Hackday project: Taximeter

Winner of Best Use of Data!


Show drivers the real-time cost of their trip (fuel & maintenance) using the data from OpenXC.

Right now we are only looking at two fields: odometer and fuel_consumed_since_restart. If we had more time, we could have looked at acceleration, braking, tire pressure, etc. to get a more accurate rate.

Other ideas:

  • apply this data to a ride-sharing program, where a large fleet of vehicles are shared and users are billed based on the rate calculated from the data
  • use GPS information to determine the fuel cost for your current area
  • use vehicle data to get a more accurate maintenance cost (SUV vs. hybrid, 2000 vs. 2013 model)


By parsing the ride CSVs and treating each CSV as a separate trip, we obtain the following:

  • distance driven (miles)
  • gallons of fuel used (gallons)

We combine that information with:

  • the current fuel cost (per gallon)
  • an estimated cost of running the vehicle (per mile), including:
    • insurance
    • maintenance (oil changes, tires, brakes)
    • depreciation

From that we get:

  • total cost of trip = (distance * maint. cost per mile) + (gallons * fuel cost per gallon)

And display these values as new data comes in to two places (concurrently):

  • an arduino with a 7-segment display attached (4 digits, e.g. $12.34)
  • a desktop or mobile browser

This is done with a python app ( using Tornado, pyserial, and websockets.

How to run it

First, place the sample CSVs in the data directory.

$ virtualenv ~/taxi_env
$ ~/taxi_env/bin/pip install -r requirements.txt
$ HTTP_PORT=80 SERIAL_DEVICE=/dev/cu.usbmodemfa131 sudo ~/taxi_env/bin/python

Then visit http://localhost/ to start the taximeter and display the rate to the screen and the arduino. You can pick a different CSV by appending ?id=0 through ?id=4 to the URL.


  • Steven Kryskalla (
  • David Harris (


BB Ingenuity Hackday project: Taximeter (




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