Ford uses IBM data analytics to lead connected car industry

Ford Dynamic Shuttle Service

Ford and IBM on Monday said they are working together on a pilot platform that allows research scientists to look at tiny pieces of data – 10 or 15 seconds at a time.

Ford researchers will analyse these data to spot patterns, correlations and trends, and write code to make more efficient transportation decisions. The platform is dubbed as Ford’s Smart Mobility Experimentation Platform.

The platform uses IBM streaming analytics delivered via IBM’s Cloud to allow for continuous updating. This act as the brains underpinning parking and shuttle services Ford is developing.

“Ford’s Smart Mobility Experimentation Platform takes huge amounts of information and breaks it down to help consumers have better travel experiences,” said Rich Strader, Ford director, enterprise and emerging information technology.

In a press statement, Ford said, using real-time analytics to coach people on efficient ways to use multimodal travel options, the cloud-based platform could allow Ford to take data feeds from various systems to learn, for example, of a problem on the subway.  A commuter traveling in the network can then be advised to ride her bicycle to reach her destination on time.

Further, Ford said, the company is looking to deploy parking space prediction technology as part of the company’s GoPark Painless Parking experiment.

Ford will collect data from cars coming and going from parking spaces in a defined area to predict available spots. The predictions are based on available city data plus observed parking patterns such as time of day and location.

When a driver is looking for a parking space, the technology will provide insight into parking spots that are available and legal to use – allowing the driver to avoid wasting fuel driving around looking for a valid place to park.

The mobile application provided will include a parking enforcement feature that will benefit the city by supporting its parking enforcement activities – serving as a key element of new smart city initiatives.

Ford said the technology is similar to that used in industries such as the stock market, where masses of data are aggregated quickly to enable rapid transactions.

Last week, Ford said it is driving innovation in smart drone-to-vehicle software with drone-maker DJI. In connection with that, Ford has invited innovators to participate in the DJI Developer Challenge to create drone-to-vehicle communications using Ford SYNCAppLink or OpenXC.

During the same period, Volvo introduced a wearable-enabled voice control system powered by Microsoft Band 2, enabling drivers to talk to their car from distance.

Similarly,   Nissan Motor and Microsoft Corp announced that all Nissan LEAF models and Infiniti models in Europe will have Connect Telematics Systems (CTS) powered by Microsoft Azure.

Arya MM

[email protected]