One of the things that the emerging world of big data will make possible is to know detailed history on everything. This will have profound impacts on selling ‘pre-loved’ items in general and used cars in particular. With the US used car market valued at around $400bn annually, this is worth noting.
Today, the used car market is – naturally – keen to know the history of the car. However, the way in which this is communicated is still quite limited: in some places a log book containing service history is the norm, other more sophisticated variants include carfax, which tracks odometer readings and reported crashes or, for example, the national database in Sweden which makes information on a car’s annual inspection available. While these do capture some key points in the story of the car, obviously having the full story rather than a set of snapshots can give a more comprehensive view.
SmartDeviceLink (SDL) is mobile-auto interaction technology which was originally devised by Ford (as an evolution of Applink) but is currently being developed under the auspices of the GENIVI alliance. This is a very interesting technology in the mobile-auto interaction space and we decided to check it out in Carmesh.
While details relating to the technology itself are somewhat in flux and the subject of the discussions within the GENIVI alliance, the basic ideas are reasonably clear. Essentially, SDL comprises of a set of standardized messages which can enable the car and the mobile to exchange state and control information. For example, it’s possible for the mobile to display specific text or images on the car dashboard, control audio playout on the car’s sound system and receive notifications when buttons on the steering wheel are pressed; in future, it should be possible to send specific Points Of Interest from the phone to the car’s navigation system amongst other things.
One of the applications we’re working on in Carmesh is a Raspberry Pi based data logger. The architecture of the system is that the RPi is connected to the OBD-II interface and provides a simple web-based interface to OBD-II state to any interested clients. In our case, we will write a mobile app which will avail of this.
Google Developers Groups are worldwide communities which are interested in technologies provided by Google and ways to leverage them, but in most cases are not Google workers (Googlers). It was my first presentation to such large audience from industry and I find it very valuable.
While searching for information on possible services/apps future drivers would really enjoy getting while in their car, I came across this interesting market research report from Arbitron. The findings are based on a broad-based survey with a total of 1,858 peoples interviewed in the US. The sample is large enough to reveal some general trends, despite the fact that it not clear whether the sample is representative of drivers distribution across US – some findings do suggest that the sample is heavily concentrated in sub-urban areas where driving is King!
The Connected Car space has seen two big announcements in as many days from the biggest names in the IT sector. On Monday, Apple announced iOS in the Car and yesterday Google confirmed the purchase of Waze. Here, we provide some analysis of what this means for the Connected Car.
Location based services (LBS) are increasingly an essential part of our digital lives. What started as an add-on to help improve Internet services has today become an intrinsic aspect to the delivery of very many services, especially in the mobile context. For example, mobile apps are increasingly using the users’ location to deliver services such as weather, transportation info, traffic, shopping, and many more.
The vision for the Connected Car is to bring the Internet into the car, adapting to the specifics of that environment. While the term was coined some time ago, it is often unclear what is meant by the Connected Car: here we outline the Carmesh vision for the Connected Car and some of the issues that arise.
While the automotive sector is very definitely not the main focus at Google IO, there were some announcements there that are of interest to the Connected Car sector. Here, I highlight three specific items that were discussed at the conference.
In a previous post, we considered how facebook Graph Search could potentially be used within the automotive context, covering possible use cases etc – Graph Search in general clearly offers huge potential and this is also true of the automotive context.
In Carmesh, we were interested in exploring what is possible with facebook data and, in particular, whether some of the Graph Search capabilities are available to external applications. Continue reading →