Data Downloaded by Cars

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Data Offloaded by Cars

Connected cars driven by humans offload approximately 300 gigabytes daily, while self-driving cars offload a significantly higher amount of data at approximately 4,000 gigabytes daily. The types of data that are offloaded mainly consist of two types: vehicle maintenance and driving history. This data is offloaded when it is needed, continuously. The networks used by manufacturers to get the data are mainly 3G, LTE and lately, 5G networks.

Quantity of car data offloaded daily

  • Hitachi company released information about how much data is offloaded by a connected car, the company said that 25 gigabytes are offloaded every hour, this is a total of 300 GB each day.
  • According to INTEL autonomous or self-driving vehicles offload approximately 4,000 GB every day, a greatly higher amount of data in comparison with the 300 GB of connected cars driven by humans.

Types of data get offloaded

  • The types of data that is usually offloaded include the car's route, speed, weathering of the components, as well as road conditions.
  • The majority of data that is offloaded is about vehicle maintenance, with smart cars able to monitor their own components for signs of weathering.
  • However, a larger portion of the data that is offloaded relates to driving history such as where you’ve traveled, the routes you took, stops you took on the way to your destination, and what time of day you were driving, among others.
  • Other factors that are offloaded include your "driving speed, your behavior at the wheel, road and traffic conditions", as well as your use of the car's radio system and accessories.

Moment that the data gets uploaded/download to the car

  • It has been estimated that there are currently 21 million connected cars that are gathering an abundance of data daily.
  • According to the vital data that must be sent to the manufacturer and the cloud, the data must be sent continuously, there isn't a specific moment to send the data. It could be when the driver is on the road driving and the data finds that a specific component of the car is worn out and the driver must be advised about it, or even when the car is parked, to inform the manufacturer of the driving history.
  • Floating Car Data (FCD) is data collected by vehicles while they are traveling. The data is then uploaded to Internet-based control centers for examination.
  • Floating Car Data is used so that manufacturers can monitor the car remotely with sensors. They then can use this data to provide distant support to the occupants of the car in real time. So it is crucial that the data is offloaded when it is needed, continuously.
  • Examples of systems that make use of FCD include BMW Assist, General Motor OnStar, and Mercedes-Benz mbrace, to name a few.

Network/networks that connected cars use to offload the data to the manufacturer

  • To support the enormous amount of data offloaded by connected cars it is important that the companies use the most current and potent network, like 5G.
  • However, it is important to note that important data will still be sent via alternative networks such as LTE and 3G. There are different uses for each of the different networks.
  • For example, a network that has a low band of spectrum may be able to carry data a long distance away, but it often lacks the ability to carry robust data. Which, in turn, makes them good candidates for sending information, such as “all clear” notices to a car manufacturer.

Research Strategy:

In order to obtain a complete overview about the data that cars offload and the types of data they offload, it was necessary to enter the QZ website, where articles provided information about the amount of data offloaded in connected cars driven by humans. This information was then corroborated by another article on the FINJAN website, a specialized website in cybersecurity. These two websites also provided information about the types of data that are offloaded by connected cars.

On the website Internet of Things Agenda, we found information about the amount of data offloaded by a self-driving car and which networks are used nowadays to offload data by connected cars. In order to determine the moment the data is offloaded by the connected car, we had to make assumptions based on the insights found on the Information-Age website and the first article from the QZ website. This information was then corroborated indirectly by a French-Italy article found on Marcofiore about how FCD data must be sent to the manufacturer at each moment, to allow the manufacturer to provide distant support to the occupants of the car in real time.
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