Data collection and sharing across vehicles is at the core of connected cars and Internet-of-Things in automobiles. The collected data is then used to draw various conclusions regarding road conditions and safety, which then becomes input to self-drive and cruise control systems or is presented directly to human drivers for informed decision making. One such benefit is the ability to receive weather conditions and related warnings in advance. Toyota is leveraging the data from windshield wipers of connected cars to improve the accuracy of weather reports and other rain related warnings.
Toyota Weathernews partnership
Weathernews provides weather reports to its users via a mobile application. Since those radar-based reports are known for being inaccurate more times than necessary, Toyota and the Japan-based app company have teamed up for this project.
How does this work?
In Osaka, Tokyo, and the region of Aichi, Toyota has started monitoring the operating status of the windshield wipers on its connected vehicles. The wipers are turned off when it is not raining. On the other hand, when it is raining, the intensity of the wipers is recorded and used to calculate the level of precipitation.
The above data is then collated in the form of a region wise rain map. Then a comparison is drawn between this map and the one generated by Weathernews, which shall help in better understanding the cases in which the radar-based report is far from the ground reality, thus resulting in an improvement of the weather reports over time.
Hope the future, though rainy, is accurate in predicting it.