Design, development, and validation of a remotely reconfigurable vehicle telemetry system for consumer and government applications
Author(s)Siegel, Joshua Eric
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Sanjay E. Sarma.
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This thesis explores the design and development of a cost-effective, easy-to-use system for remotely monitoring vehicle performance and drivers' habits, with the aim of collecting data for vehicle characterization and traffic shaping. Vehicular congestion and concerns over fuel reserves, pollution, and carbon emissions have recently emerged as prominent sociopolitical concerns. These problems are formidable, but could be addressed more fruitfully with better information about vehicles and drivers habits, leading to policies such as vehicle-specific congestion charging or an odometer-based road tax. Despite the proliferation of sensors in cars, data is often hidden due to the antiquated nature of the federally-required On-Board Diagnostics (OBD). Systems to log and process such data exist, but no well known reconfigurable systems augment OBD with additional sensor data and transmit it over a cellular network. This thesis proposes a system wherein vehicles become distributed sensors, each transmitting a rich supply of information. The standardization of OBD and decreasing cost of bandwidth make now an opportune time to develop a real-time logging system. Inexpensive processors make it possible to provide privacy through onboard calculation, obfuscating much personally-identifiable data. This document discusses the planning process, experimental configurations of hardware and software, results, and conclusions associated with the development of a cellular diagnostic system capable of supporting an "app" model for information feedback. I present a Bluetooth-OBD logger, a cellular logger, and a web interface capable of representing live and historical data from vehicles, including example applications for calculating congestion pricing. This project proves the feasibility of capturing data using a remotely reconfigurable controller area network (CAN) to general packet radio service (GPRS) interpreter, visualizing the information in real-time, and writing applications to make use of the incoming data. The hardware and software were proven successful in meeting the goals set for the project. The hardware proved robust, gathering data without issue for hundreds of miles. The sample data demonstrated low bandwidth use, identified network weaknesses, and pointed out issues with the currently-legislated OBD standard. This thesis closes by exploring future possibilities suggested by the development of this system, including wireless odometry and next-generation OBD.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2011.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 67-68).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology