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Panel Discussion at SXSW Interactive 2019: Crowdsourcing the Safety Benefits of New Mobility

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Crowdsourcing is the practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group for a common goal — often for innovation, problem-solving, or to gain efficiency.

Data is transmitted through various technologies, social media and websites and most recently through the sensors and TCU’s in automobiles.  With growing connectivity in cars worldwide, it is becoming easier for every vehicle to contribute to the common good of drivers everywhere.  


Today, crowdsourcing in automotive industry applications has primarily surrounded high definition maps and “now” service needs such as location of gas stations or other quick service needs. However, crowdsourcing can move way beyond these areas in the future.  It’s staggering to think about the many ways data feeds from vehicles can supply us with insights to enrich our daily lives.


One of the key benefits that crowdsourced applications can deliver to consumers is safety. Sensing the signals from the non-visual sensors on the vehicle, on parameters such as wheel speed, wheel angle, RPM, accelerometers, and more can provide real-time insights into how the physical factors of the vehicle would impact any ride. Collating and analyzing the information on engine efficiency, braking efficiency, tire health, weight, fuel consumption, and more would help in timely predictive maintenance and repair of the vehicle avoiding emergencies and accidents cause of the vehicle inefficiency. Sensing and analyzing the information on grades, banking, curvature, friction, and hazards such as bumps, cracks, and potholes help in describing the critical factors that impact vehicle-road dynamics


Consumer adoption of automotive applications that are crowdsourced can result in the following benefits among others: 


  • Increase in the mobility-related revenues 
  • Decrease in the number of accidents and driver fatalities
  • Pilotless vehicles freeing up million hours of consumers’ commuting time per year in the most congested cities in the world
  • Reduction in public safety costs related to traffic accidents
  • Reduced number of traffic violations
  • Increase in customer satisfaction levels
  • And much more


Key safety benefits crowdsourced applications can influence (Source: Strategy & Analytics)


  • 585,000 lives (a conservative estimate) can be saved due to driverless vehicles from 2035 to 2045. 
  • Public safety costs related to traffic accidents will reduce by 234 Billion US dollars from 2035-2045.


Successful crowdsourcing involves more than releasing an application or project and expecting an engaged crowd to adopt and use it in enough numbers to generate useful outputs. Effective crowdsourcing requires developing a product that provides an incentive for users to be involved in, and collect information in a format and of a quality that is useful to the enterprises collecting it and analyzing it. The four major areas that crowdsourcing systems need to address to be successful: 


  • Recruiting and retaining the participant base
  • Assessing user capabilities
  • Aggregating the information provided by users 
  • Evaluating the contribution of users


Automotive ecosystem contributors are working towards building novel approaches to data collection, aggregation and subsequent visualization. Specifically, the focus is on issues of trust and security that are inherent to the use of crowdsourced data capture as well as, to the stewardship and usage of the resultant data sets within connected automotive ecosystem settings and otherwise. 


To learn more, listen to Sandip Ranjhan, Senior Vice President & GM, Automotive, HARMAN speak in the session on “Crowdsourcing the Benefits of New Mobility” at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference (SXSW Interactive). He will discuss about ways to build useful crowdsourced applications in automotive, to incentivize customers and increase customer adoption, to strategize outcome-based data-driven business models ensuring safety of the customers, to formulate standards in collecting, storing and analyzing data (customer, vehicle and infrastructure) with the help of experts in automotive as well as Regulators & Government and much more. The session is conducted on Mar 13, 2019, from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm at Salon F, Hilton, Austin Downtown, Texas. Add it to your schedule today! ​