Ford and St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University are finishing research for better vehicle communication technology. As a result of telematics and space robot communications research, Ford has filed several patents that could be used to advance connected cars of the future. Communicating in outer space is similar to the way connected cars communicate.
The primary goal of the project was to develop communication technology to connect drivers and service providers with information and services on the cloud in conditions where there was wireless network overload or poor connectivity.
Data was collected and transmitted from moving vehicles to other vehicles and the infrastructure. The team created an intelligent connectivity manager that uses software and algorithms to select from available connections the option best suited to transmit data to the cloud, with each vehicle given the opportunity to assess the quality of communication channels and to transmit data.
The researchers developed a small-scale connectivity coverage map that keeps the features of the landscape, while incorporating data on fixed and mobile wireless access points, the quality of service of the available communication channels as well as traffic conditions.
In nonemergency situations, the connectivity manager can check the coverage map to determine the best point for service delivery. So if a vehicle is traveling in a remote area and a software update is sent out, the update would be delivered over the air when the connection is stronger.
In the future, a universal connectivity map will reflect the current data at all times – acting as a database for implementing smart roads and smart city projects. This means that in any given situation, whether moving or parked, the vehicle with the most stable connection – cellular, embedded modem, Wi-Fi, vehicle-to-everything
The project will be finalized by year-end, and the results could be integrated into Ford production programs – including vehicle-to-vehicle communication, the delivery of emergency messages and over-the-air software updates.
St. Petersburg State telematics researchers successfully carried out a series of experiments in space using the same multichannel connectivity fundamentals that served as the basis for the research project with Ford. Cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station used a joystick to control a robot based on Earth amidst noisy conditions, operating signal time delays and equipment failures. Now, the team plans to advance the technology to remotely control a group of robots assembling scientific equipment and satellites.