Ford's OpenXC Platform and Splunk Enterprise Reveal Insights into Driving Behavior

connected car (select to view enlarged photo)


SAN FRANCISCO--November 2013: Splunk Inc. , provider of the leading software platform for real-time operational intelligence, and Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader, today announced Connected Car Dashboards, a collaborative project that collected and analyzed data from vehicles to gain insight into driving patterns and vehicle performance. Using Ford’s OpenXC research platform to gather data from connected vehicles, Splunk employees hit the streets of San Francisco in a Ford Focus Electric vehicle and a gas-powered Ford Escape. The data was then indexed, analyzed and visualized in SplunkŪ Enterprise and made publicly available in the Connected Car Dashboards. Watch the test drive and learn more about the results in the Connected Cars video. The project is part of Splunk4Good, Splunk’s corporate social responsibility program.

“The car is a platform, and we’re excited by the opportunities that are emerging as we provide makers and developers with access to real-time vehicle data”

“The Connected Car Dashboards give a glimpse into a promising future in which data could transform vehicle and driver safety as well as design, productivity and other areas of the automotive industry,” said Christy Wilson, vice president of product operations, Splunk. “Splunk’s mission is to make machine data more accessible, valuable and usable to everyone, and Splunk4Good extends those goals by using data to make a difference. Splunk is thrilled to be working with Ford to help usher in an open data movement in the automotive industry.”

“The car is a platform, and we’re excited by the opportunities that are emerging as we provide makers and developers with access to real-time vehicle data,” said TJ Giuli, Silicon Valley research lab leader for Ford. “Collaborating with software companies like Splunk enables us to explore entirely new applications for vehicle data such as energy efficiency and driver habits.”

The Connected Car Dashboards include visualizations specific to both electric and gas-powered vehicles, as well as analytics dedicated to the habits of the three Splunk drivers involved in the Ford OpenXC demonstration. Many of these metrics have never before been available for consumer vehicles, and reveal compelling insights about driving behavior that could extend to consumer and commercial applications. Insights gained from the open data project include:

Analysis of the accelerator pedal position reveals all drivers were more aggressive in the electric vehicle when starting from a stop. Analysis of vehicle speed data reveals all drivers reached their top speeds in the gas vehicle, and that Splunk co-founder Erik Swan had the biggest lead foot, in both vehicles. The steering wheel position reveals insights into each operator’s driving tendencies, including who turned most aggressively and where. Ford OpenXC is the only open data platform for vehicles that can collect steering wheel data to include in analysis. Correlating speed data, GPS data and speed limit data reveals the best place for police to place a speed trap in San Francisco would be on 3rd Street between 22nd and 23rd.

Ford OpenXC is a combination of open source hardware and software that enables developers to read data from the vehicle’s internal communications network. By installing a small hardware module to read and translate metrics from vehicles, the data becomes accessible to smartphone or tablet devices that can then be used to develop custom applications. Ford’s OpenXC API enables vehicle data to be more accessible to developers by presenting them in an open, well-specified JSON format, which makes the data easier to use in external applications. By utilizing the development environment in Splunk Enterprise, including an integrated web framework and software development kits for the world’s most popular languages, developers can analyze and visualize this kind of data in real-time and against historical trends.

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