Partha Pratim Dutta, Senior Technology Architect, Manufacturing, Infosys Limited
Ashutosh Agrawal, Senior Consultant, Manufacturing, Infosys Limited
Do you remember the American TV series called "Knight Rider" or the Hindi movie "Tarzaan : The Wonder Car"? KITT(the artificially intelligent Pontiac Trans Am in "Knight Rider") and Tarzaan, both were advanced, artificially intelligent and nearly-indestructible cars. I always dreamt of having one of these.
What was a dream then, is a reality today. More and more cars today are coming out with hundreds of on-board sensors, capable of measuring everything from tyre pressure to driver's condition. It can alert us in case of emergency and in certain cases, can take the necessary evasive action as well. We call them "Connected Vehicles". Using the on-board communication network, they are capable of connecting to a central server to dump the data or upgrade themselves with a newer processing algorithm. This data can be mashed up with other contextual and historical data (just like KITT) such as infrastructure data (e.g. road condition), local climate data, historical patterns etc., and can help us in identifying things which our naked eyes can never detect.
Is this an Invasion on Your Privacy?
But unlike Michael Knight (KITT's owner), we as owners of these smart cars, do not own or have control over the data that we generate. All these services uses our own data that we generate and gives us back the relevant portions of it as services at some price. You may be comfortable with these services but how comfortable are you in compromising your privacy for these services and if you are comfortable, how far will you go for that? How comfortable will you be in making your data public, such as details around the last accident that you had? Or how comfortable will you be in letting people know where exactly you are at any point of time?
Every customer views their privacy differently. Currently, there is no control/policy in the auto world which allows a customer to control this data. The customer doesn't know who all have access to this data or how this data is getting processed. There may be situations when you have no other option but to share your data - such as when your Insurance Company needs it to validate your claims. But in other situations - like your movement getting tracked, you can be selective in letting people know who can see you and till what point of time. And at the same time, it being your data, you should get the desired service and benefit if you decide to share your data. For example, if a customer decides to let the car companies (or its competitor) collect this data to figure out how the newly launched car is performing, the customer may ask for a special discount while buying the car.
Solution: Control your Data
The solution may lay in layering up a Big Data analysis platform with "User Access Control" module. The solution should be able to process a huge amount of data in minimal amount of time, provide pattern identification and give absolute control of those data/findings to the user. And the user decides, what to share (and what not to) and makes sure to get the desired service and benefit when this data is shared. The solution needs few key design dimensions to be addressed: