Friday, November 26, 2010

Car or computer? How transport is becoming more connected

As was discussed in the book 'After the Car' modern cars are becoming highly sophisticated in how they are connected, in terms of integrating with transport information as well as the potential for being part of a social network. This interesting article outlines some of the recent developments:

Fiat's eco:drive software Fiat is using software that tells drivers how to make better, and more fuel efficient, choices behind the wheel.
They are among the 612 Mini E cars being trialed in the US, UK and Germany since 2009. These plug-in electric models are leased to customers, and BMW - the owner of the Mini - is monitoring every aspect of the cars' use, in almost every scenario, as they are put through their paces.The amount of data that can now be collected about how drivers use their cars is unprecedented. And the impact of so much information is potentially huge. Imagine having your car post MOT reminders to your social networks, or share your location with friends, or prove that you were not responsible for an accident.

Behaviour changing 

A British company, Riversimple, has designed a range of tiny hydrogen-powered cars, which it will roll out in Leicester in 2012.They will collect every minute detail about how the cars are used. If the pilot goes well, they are already discussing ways of connecting the cars to social media, and sharing data about how the cars are used."Drivers could play games to see who is driving the most efficiently," says Rosie Reeves, Riversimple's sustainability officer.Italian carmaker Fiat has been compiling data from the Blue&Me navigation systems installed on many of its cars over a six-month period. It may be the largest such data harvest done by a major carmaker.
"We can extract a number of data - on how the pedals are used, petrol consumption, braking," says Candido Peterlini, vice president for product development at Fiat. It developed eco:Drive from the data collected from 420,000 car journeys of 5,700 drivers in five countries.

 Read more at - 'Car or computer? How transport is becoming more connected'


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