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EETE FEB 2016

ENSW & CETHNOLOGY automotive Does your car need to know everything about you? By Christoph Hammerschmidt Today, cars collect a huge amount of data – including personal information that allow conclusions on the driver’s private affairs. Long a discussion has begun about privacy in the connected car. A Fraunhofer research project is now trying to devise solutions that protect the driver’s privacy without inhibiting commercial utilisation. Connected cars today send data to vehicle manufacturers, garages, insurance companies and spare part providers. These data are the basis for many new applications and business models. However, surrendering such data to sometimes unknown third parties poses risks endangers privacy protection. With the recently launched project SeDaFa, the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Systems (SIT) is aiming at a solution to solve these problems. The guiding principle is enabling the driver to determine who can access which data. Many electronic units in the vehicle store and transmit data, enabling new solutions to increase the drivers safety and comfort. The downside is that they sometimes can also be used against the driver: Data on braking behaviour or driving speed can tell a lot about the drivers preferences. Insurances who have access to these data can offer a more favourable tariff or more unfavourable, depending on the data. Employers can monitor who, how and where company cars are driven. Many scenarios are conceivable that affect the drivers personal privacy. In Germany, this is subject to public discussion; as recently as this week the automotive industry association VDA has signed an agreement with data protection offices that establishes certain rules on how to handle privacy data in and from the car. The goal of the SeDaFa project is developing solutions that on one hand protect privacy-relevant data while on the other hand enabling OEMs and third parties to develop applications that make use of these data. The solutions will inform the driver in a transparent way about which data have been sent and for which purposes they can be used. Based on these informations, drivers will be able to decide themselves which data they want to disclose. Towards this end, the project brings experts from multiple disciplines to the table. Initially we investigate all data streams from control units, telematics devices, sensors and infotainment systems and where they go to, explains Christoph Krau, coordinator of the SeDaFa project and department manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology. In the next step we analyse which consequences this can have to the driver and whether the data contain personal details or not. Data on speed, for example, allow interested parties to investigate where exactly the driver moved simply through information on road conditions, traffic lights, crossroads etc, even if these data do not contain any navigation data. Within the project, the experts develop concepts how a customer can reveal insights to vehicle data without affecting his privacy. An example is wearing parts: Parts suppliers have an interested in knowing how fast certain parts wear away. For this purpose, it is possible to attach random data to the drivers data so that not the exact driving behaviour of a person is transferred but instead an average value that does not affect the wear prediction. Gas pedal provides haptic feedback By Christoph Hammerschmidt If you are alone in your car on the highway and you suddenly feel a gentle vibration in your right foot, you are not gone crazy. Instead, you probably drive a car equipped with Bosch’s active gas pedal. The purpose of the vibration is warning about sharp bends ahead – or just about driving too speedy. Bosch has developed a technical aid that helps drivers travel safely and at the same time save fuel. Connected to the navigation system or road sign reading assistant, the gas pedal gives drivers a haptic warning signal if they are exceeding a speed limit, approach a sharp bend at too high speed or, more general, tend to drive with a “lead foot”, burning too much fuel. This kind of feedback to the driver’s accelerator foot helps to reduce fuel consumption by as much as seven percent, the company says. This is possible because the smart pedal is linked to other automotive functions such as the transmission. In addition, it comes with the option of a palpable indication of the best time to shift gear. “The pedal tells the driver when the economy and acceleration curves intersect”, explains Stefan Seibert, president of Bosch’s Gasoline Systems Division. Drivers can however override the gas pedal’s feedback by applying more pressure. Additional fuel-saving potential is available in conjunction with start-stop coasting, i.e. when the engine is stopped while still moving at speed in order to save fuel. Bosch estimates that the engine can be stopped in this way on 30 percent of all journeys. The gas pedal can be set to give an alert as soon as coasting mode makes sense. With advancing powertrain electrification, this technology offers further benefits. The pedal also opens up fuel-saving potential in hybrids, since it lets drivers know when the combustion engine is about to take over from the electric motor, so they can lighten the amount of pressure on the gas pedal. In connection with collision warning systems, the gas pedal can issue a vibration signal, warning drivers not to kick the pedal any further. Type and force of the haptic feedback can be set by software parameters. 10 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2016 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE FEB 2016
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