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Here’s Why Transportation Data Should Come Straight from the Source

In this special guest feature, Daniel Tibble, Director of Data Science and Analytics, Wejo ,discusses how the value of connected vehicle data has often been overlooked as some believe that mobile devices can provide the same information. Wejo is a global leader in connected vehicle data. Daniel is an experienced data leader, focusing on building data driven cultures and delivering maximum business benefit though data, analytics and data science.

Over the past few decades, mobile device data has proven to be an incredibly valuable way to uncover unique preferences of people everywhere. From where you spend your days to the time you spend reading which news, companies in nearly every industry now tap into this data to improve experiences and, as a result, their business performance. However, these insights don’t quite cut it for one key industry: transportation.

For transportation organizations, like automakers, Tier 1 part suppliers and departments of transportation (DOTs), mobile devices provide basic insights, such as location and speed. But to make the vast and much-needed changes in the transportation system and drive improved results in the commercial sector – from infrastructure improvements to vehicle upgrades – leaders at these organizations need more. High-quality, intelligent sources of accurate information about roads, driver behavior and infrastructure – that they cannot gather from mobile devices – are now possible in the form of connected vehicle data (CVD).

What is CVD?

CVD is sourced directly from sensors embedded within vehicles and parts from major automotive OEMs and Tier 1s. These sensors allow for near-real-time collection of detailed data that helps organizations make informed decisions for safer and smarter transportation. For example, CVD can provide insight into common driver behaviors throughout different routes – such as harsh braking at a sharp turn on a highway. DOTs can then leverage that information to put appropriate signage before the harsh braking occurs or adjust the roadway itself. Private businesses can apply that data as well, for example, by keeping their construction workers on a site safe or assessing the insurance liability of a costly accident on that highway turn in question. Fleet and logistics companies can leverage CVD for planning optimal pickup and delivery routes and retailers can identify accessible site locations, improve customer parking experiences and optimize location-based ads with the data.  

How is CVD more accurate than mobile devices?

CVD is a single source data set, meaning that there is little to no inconsistency between data type from different vehicles and, importantly, guarantees that the source is a car. When assessing traffic, for example, this differentiation is critical. Mobile phone data will often register speed and location, then assume the user of the device is driving, even when that is not the case (e.g., pedestrians being counted in slow-moving traffic or people in a bus inaccurately indicating congestion).

CVD also provides more accurate, precise location data that suffers less from jitter, or connection disruptions. It consistently demonstrates a clearer, more complete journey of a vehicle and its driver in real scenarios. The quality of GPS data from mobile devices is often low – it can be altered by something as small as being in a pocket or a bag, which might degrade the position radius and lead to errors in the data set. For example, location data from connected vehicles is accurate enough to identify congestion and speeds within each lane. It can identify the exact position of the back of traffic lines on interstates and at intersections.

Why is CVD technology considered “intelligent”?

CVD, gathered from millions of smart sensors in vehicles, can be considered intelligent for a number of reasons. CVD technology is intelligent in that it allows organizations to translate and enhance raw, unstructured data into usable, easy-to-understand insights for transportation organizations and beyond.  CVD solutions, for example, can convert raw data into a variety of formats including Parquet, JSON or TPEG. This data can then be made available via API into any cloud environment or directly into chosen SFTP areas. CVD insights unlock a deeper understanding of mobility trends enabling better, more efficient decisions, innovation and problem solving. Unlike that collected from mobile devices, connected vehicle data can provide one clear, intelligent story about transportation.

The organizations driving meaningful change in transportation must have equally meaningful data. With CVD, that becomes possible, and these leaders can gather and assess accurate, precise and intelligent insights to improve the future of mobility and industry alike.

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