Monday, January 26, 2015

Transforming The Driving Experience: The Connected Car

Just as the internet revolutionized the way we use mobile devices, the 'connected car' has the opportunity to transform the driving experience. CARMESH, a European Union (EU)-funded Marie Curie project, took the first steps towards a seamless integration of digital life into the car.

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For four years, the CARMESH team investigated architectures and systems such as Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs), suitable for the connected car. The researchers developed a prototype system for high-speed mobile connectivity while driving.

Once on the market, the CARMESH system, which is a mobile phone application that works with the car's network interface, is expected to increase safety standards by providing regular updates such as road conditions and diversions to the user. Moreover, the overall driving experience around metropolitan areas could be improved through constant location-based traffic updates to help drivers avoid lengthy traffic jams.

The research team’s vision was centered on the hands-free mobile phone, which is integrated with the wireless network interface in the car. Mobile phone applications connect wirelessly to the vehicle and are designed to avoid driver distraction – in fact, only pertinent information is relayed to the driver while on the road.

“Social networking, mapping and event services could all be tailored to the car,” says project coordinator Dr. John Murphy of University College Dublin in Ireland. “The system developed by the project team is also expected to gather data on the driving behavior and inform users if there are any car maintenance issues to address,” he adds.

Both the academic and the industrial partners working on the CARMESH project learned a great deal about how to deliver high-quality service and networking to the ‘connected car’. Due to their work and presence at numerous events, such as the Automotive Linux Summit in Edinburgh in 2013, the researchers also increased their collaboration with the automotive sector. Experts predict that by 2025, 60% of all cars will have extended internet connectivity. And, with the automotive industry seeing the ‘connected car’ market as an opportunity.

Contacts and sources:
European Commission Research & Innovation

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