What’s the difference between Mobile Data and Car Data? Here’s a great example.

When introducing the connected car concept, one of the instinctive reactions we hear sometimes is: “But I can do all that with my mobile, can’t I?” For us, this is a great opportunity to elaborate on the differences between car data, and mobile data that is collected while driving or travelling in a vehicle.

This screenshot of the heavy traffic in an area of Israel was taken on a day that not one car was on the roads.

True, many of the applications being introduced to the connected car ecosystem will theoretically work without the data parameters gleaned from within embedded car systems, but when put into practice – many of these parameters, (i.e. acceleration, speed, location), will be a great deal more accurate when sourced from the vehicle. Moreover, the data being extracted from within the car will serve to enrich and improve the quality of the data coming in from the smartphone. In the data world, the added value of aggregated data, versus data from a single source is irrefutably more valuable to the data consumer.

Without going in to the logical or technological reasoning behind the lesser accuracy of purely smartphone-derived location data, last weekend, our everyday lives provided us with a great demonstration, just last week here in Israel. Saturday was Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) here in Israel, a holiday that causes the entire country to refrain from driving. The fact the roads are completely car free has created a tradition among children, whereby Yom Kippur is the day that you can ride, walk play and roam the streets – the roads – freely. As you can only imagine, the country’s roads are swarming with anything but cars.

The image in this post is a screenshot from a mobile phone with endless Google alerts of heavy and congested traffic in the roads in our area on this our national “day without traffic”.

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