Industry forum debates specifications for vehicle data

Sensor data from vehicle systems transmitted to cloud infrastructures was the subject of a recent debate amongst automotive companies.

Nokia’s navigation, mapping and location services division, HERE, has gathered an industry-wide forum of in-vehicle system suppliers and automotive specialists to discuss the development of specifications on interfacing vehicle sensor data for transmission to the cloud infrastructure. The forum took place in Berlin, Germany.

As vehicle connectivity continues to grow at a rapid pace, the need for standards on how data is transmitted, collected and stored externally to the vehicle is of paramount importance to ensure a truly connected infrastructure and the ability for vehicles to share information between themselves and the physical infrastructure around them.

A fundamental aspect of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) as well as connectivity for other purposes, vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2x) connectivity involves the use of onboard sensors gathering large quantities of information which can be used to improve safety and mobility for other drivers. This includes real time mapping updates for navigation systems, weather, traffic and hazard alerts in nearby locations.

A total of 16 companies were represented at the HERE forum where the definition of a format for transmitting data to the cloud was discussed along with other issues that need definition such as data security and anonymization and data content.

According to Dietmar Rabel, head of product management for the automated driving program at HERE, the ability to transmit in real-time sensor data across different vehicles on the road requires deep industrywide collaboration. “But when we do, the result should be fewer accidents and more efficient journeys, as well as moving the industry closer to its aspiration for cars that can fully understand their environment and drive themselves,” he said.

According to a recent forecast by automotive technology research firm SBD, over 30 million vehicles will be sold annually with built-in connectivity by 2020, generating more than 163 million terabytes of data each year via their dozens of on-board cameras and sensor technologies.

Continental was one of the participants of the forum and the company’s head of back-end development, Ronald Hain commented, “As more connected vehicles come to market, Continental looks forward to participating in the industry’s effort to define how vehicle sensor data gets transmitted and processed. This is important for our eHorizon project where we merge data from different car makers in a backend. The discussions at this forum were incredibly robust, key issues to address were identified – such as how to transmit accurate sensor information given that every OEM will have different sensors on board – and I believe we now have a solid foundation for our work ahead,”

The creation of a common specification for in-vehicle sensor data is prerequisite to an industry standard, following a similar approach taken by HERE and its industry peers to usher in ADAS Interface Specification. In the forthcoming weeks and months, HERE will re-engage industry peers across the globe to establish a formal working group on sensor ingestion standardisation.

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Vehicle Technology

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