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Ubiquitous Wireless Mesh Networks for Next-Generation Personal Digital Automotive Services

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The smart car application

An EU team applied smartphone-style application (app) connectivity to cars. The idea enables almost unlimited information services, combining data from the car, environmental nodes or the user's social network, to improve control and efficiency.

Digital Economy

Connecting cars to the Internet via mobile devices and apps offers many advantages. Benefits may include assistance with scheduling and punctuality, improved safety and fuel efficiency, and locally specific public information updates, in addition to monitoring of vehicle operations data. Making the concept a reality was the EU-funded project 'Ubiquitous wireless mesh networks for next-generation personal digital automotive services' (CARMESH). The consortium aimed to deliver advanced information services to the connected car, using smartphone apps that integrate with automotive interfaces and control systems. The project was administered through the Seventh Framework Programme's (FP7) Marie Curie Action programme, from late 2009 to late 2013. The team built a prototype intended to showcase the project's vision. Specifically, the prototype illustrated three business-use cases at the 2013 Automotive Linux Summit. Cases included integration with the business user's calendar, to help schedule arrival times; and highlighting locations relevant to the driver's social network. A data-logging application was also integrated with standard automotive interfaces. Project members used two industry events to successfully present their prototype applications. Using secondments, the team established new partnerships with European software companies external to the project. Subsequently, the project negotiated with software and automotive companies about possible inclusion of CARMESH prototypes into their product portfolios. Dissemination work included an extensive web-presence, including various information videos and articles. The project's second workshop was reported in specialist media, as was a project member's receipt of best paper award at an industry conference. Project personnel also participated in Marie Curie programme events. The CARMESH project offered automotive integration with smartphones, allowing a range of potentially useful information services. The project helped European business access a potentially lucrative market for such services.

Keywords

Application, cars, information services, wireless mesh networks, digital automotive services

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