Find out more about the latest developments in cloud computing, and how they may one day affect your commute. The story inside.
Groups of students from the University of Michigan have been hard at work on a new set of in-car applications that could redefine aspects of the driving experience. The six teams were spawned by a course titled, "Cloud Computing in the Commute," using a full 12-week quarter to develop the software.
The programmes were then presented to Ford officials who chose one, "Caravan Track," to get a trial run on a Ford Fiesta test vehicle. Designed by students John Ciccone, Collin Hockey, Sang Park and Joe Phillips, Caravan Track allows drivers along the same route to link up and communicate about traffic, hazardous conditions and stops in real time.
Seemingly inspired by a truck driver's use of a CB radio, one can only hope that the programme also lets one user notify others of speed traps. Also created through the project includes fuel efficiency comparison software "Fuel Tracker," the "GreenRide Challenge" social network for carpoolers, "Listen. Speak. Rate. Share." for reviews of different locations played through the in-car stereo, another road hazard warning system called "NostraMap," and "Points-of-Interest," which aggregates user interests to recommend various businesses and locations.
All of the software for the Ford-sponsored class was developed on Windows 7 and the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. Microsoft provides the software for SYNC, Ford's advanced infotainment system.