Algorithm could enable connected-vehicle collaboration

Researchers are working on an algorithm designed to let hundreds of different vehicles use Wi-Fi to aggregate data and then send it over the Internet via a single cellular connection. The broad goal of the project is to leverage free Wi-Fi connections for data aggregation and subsequently employ more costly cellular networks to get that data to the Internet.

Distributed computing researchers from MIT, Georgetown University the National University of Singapore are hoping their work will enable hundreds of cars on freeways to communicate via Wi-Fi to download content, send emails and more, with cars aggregating data as they go, according to a GigaOM article.

At some point, said the article, vehicles that have aggregated the most data essentially become aggregation nodes for the network and can then establish a cellular connection to uploaded the aggregated data to the Internet or download data as appropriate.

Though the researchers' work on distributed computing for vehicles is in its early stages, the market for passive as well as active connectivity in vehicles is gaining momentum.

Global OEM connected-car system penetration is expected to increase from 11.4 percent in 2012 to 60.1 percent in 2017, according to ABI Research. Penetration in the United States and Western Europe will exceed 80 percent by 2017, but developing regions such as Latin America and Eastern Europe will also see strong increases in telematics penetration in new vehicles, largely driven by mandates in Brazil and Russia, said ABI.

"In-car connectivity is quickly transforming the automotive industry, enabling passive and active safety and security and offering infotainment and connected lifestyle services to consumers but also enabling new car ownership, usage, and experience modes such as car sharing, (semi)-autonomous driving, dynamic demand-response electric vehicle charging pricing, and customer and vehicle relationship management services including prognostics and preventive maintenance," said Dominique Bonte, ABI practice director.

However, Frost & Sullivan research analyst Krishna Jayaraman, has cautioned that the growing consumer demand for in-vehicle information could lead to data overloads

"Information management is a big challenge and is closely related to driver distraction," said Jayaraman. "Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are in a situation where they have to achieve a balance between offering new technologies to stay ahead of the competition and keeping the human machine interface (HMI) as easy as possible; prioritization and splitting information to different in-vehicle displays is the need of the hour."

For more:
- see this GigaOM article
- see this ABI release
- see this Frost & Sullivan release

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