LAS VEGAS: HP is researching how the Internet of Things (IoT) can operate at the edge of networked devices, experimenting with connected cars communicating directly with each other.
At HP Discover 2015 in Las Vegas, the company showcased its research into IoT, demonstrating how it is working on the flow of data between cars networked together in a meshed fashion, rather than each car being connected into a central system or cloud, as is the case in many IoT networks.
Craig Sayers, research manager at HP Labs, explained to V3 how the company's research division is looking at equipping cars with on board sensors, connectivity, storage and processors needed to collect, crunch and communicate data with other vehicles on the road.
"Usually when people think about the Internet of Things (IoT) they think about sensors out in the world that send data back into a central cloud location where processing and storage happens," he said.
"What we're experimenting here is looking at what would happen if we took that processing and storage and pushed out into the network.
"We're looking at having nodes inside the network, which in our case are cars moving on roads. Those nodes have their own processing and storage and communication to each other."
Sayers said that this approach to IoT allows cars to communicate to each other when they encounter obstacles or challenging conditions on the road, such as potholes, thereby allowing drivers to take action before they encounter the situation.
Coining the term ‘community of cars', Sayer explained how this allows cars to interact with each other and only share car data that is relevant to the road situations encountered.
This bypasses the privacy issues encountered when a mass of data is pushed from connected devices into the cloud, where the system provider can do more things with the data besides working strictly to the advantage of the device user.
"Security is always going to be an issue, but from a privacy aspect though, there's a nice part of this system [as] you get to choose how much you want to share with other cars, and what get shared is only what's necessary to make the road system work more efficiently," said Sayers.
HP is calling this approach to IoT security the Internet of Your Things, as possession and control over their data use remains in their hands.
Security and privacy issues are regularly touted as stumbling blocks to IoT adoption, though analyst house IDC predicts security threats will not stop IoT spending, which is predicted to hit $1.7tn a year by 2020.
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