Smart Data Capture

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Smart Data Capture
Obtaining data from the brains of cars
Automobile / Transportation / Data
November 12th, 2013
SINTEF Technology and Society

When the Nissan Group last year contributed to the cause of research by allowing SINTEF to carry out direct logging of data from its „Leaf“ cars, this represented a milestone. For the first time, a car manufacturer has opened the way for Norwegian research scientists to log data directly from the innermost systems of cars. If this practice becomes widespread, the transport industry will have a tool enabling vital decision-making at a national level.

Obtaining data from a car‘s existing sensors is a method which the department is now employing in a number of projects. The scientists equip drivers and vehicles participating in the projects with smartphones or web tablets which enable them to collect valuable data for use in research. Modern vehicles represent a goldmine of information about how cars are used and the infrastructure they utilise. It provides a completely new source of precise data.
It can identify problems covering larger geographical areas and with sufficient data, which provides a better foundation for the major transport-related decisions which must be made.

In research circles there is debate about whether traffic flow or high velocities have most effect on energy consumption. This method uses direct measurements to make it possible to document actual effects, rather than relying on assumptions. This can provide a more objective basis for decision-making. At present the research institutes rely on transport operators, motorists and car manufacturers to provide access to data so that they can make the best possible calculations.


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