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IBM Provides Smartphone Data Services for Solar-Powered Robot Car Journey From Italy to China


Smartphones to Collect and Tweet CO2 Levels as Part of Environmental Research Project

MILAN, Italy - The VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge (VIAC), an epic 13,000km journey from Parma, Italy to Shanghai, China using unmanned, solar energy powered vehicles, aims to showcase the benefits of green transport. Over the course of the trip, the automated vehicles will use IBM (NYSE: IBM) Human Centric solutions to collect data on CO2 pollutants in the regions covered along the way – Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and China – using the data to assess the health and environmental impact of CO2 in these areas.

During the course of the drive, IBM Human Centric Solutions will illustrate the data collecting potential of Smartphones. VIAC vehicles will be equipped with specially-designed Smartphones that monitor CO2 levels, providing a live stream of data to the web via twitter, @greenhaviour, throughout the journey.

“Visualising the data will enable us to identify quickly how pollution levels vary across continents. We will use IBM analytical tools to discover trends such as a correlation between certain illnesses and the quality of the air,” said Ed Jellard, consultant from IBM Hursley Development Lab.

“The strategy is to connect devices to the Internet and apply intelligence and services on top of that. This way we empower million of citizens to communicate information through the devices they already own, helping decision makers to react in a quicker and smarter way,” said Nicola Palmarini, IBM Human Centric Solutions Centre. “We can put computational power into objects that include cars, appliances, roadways, power grids, clothes or in natural systems, such as agriculture and waterways. The initiative will demonstrate the value we can derive from the network of sensors embedded in devices, such as smart phones which are already in place.”

The technology used in this initiative is developed by IBM with the hardware support of SenSaris for the CO2 Bluetooth sensors. It is based on IBM Message Broker, WebSphere Application Server software and Tivoli Storage Manager and runs on the Android 2.1 mobile platform.

The project ends October 20, 2010, following the arrival of the vans at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Once the pilot is completed, IBM will use the project results to evaluate the solution for further applications.

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