Fuse To Provide Powerful Tool For Reducing Driving
Guest post by Phil Windley.
Your car is packed with computers and sensors that help it get you where you want to go. In fact, your car is likely the most sophisticated computer network you own. And yet, all that data is largely unavailable to you, the owner. The car keeps it secret—until now. We built Fuse to give people the data their cars have been keeping hidden from them all these years.
Fuse connects your car to your personal cloud, a private place that you control. Fuse is made from three things: a cellular gizmo that plugs into your car’s data port, a cloud-based processing and storage system, and apps that you use to control it all. Fuse know about all your trips: the length, the destination, the speed, and the cost. Fuse can even show you your carbon footprint, if you want.
For years, I’ve worn pedometers. My latest is a Fitbit Flex. One thing I’ve discovered is that seeing how many steps I take every day changes my behavior. I think of ways to walk a little bit more. And, of course, that’s the whole point. Measuring my steps helps me get more exercise.
I believe that extending the quantified self to our cars can have a similar effect. Last week after a trip to the airport, I looked inside the Fuse app and saw that it cost $5.46. That was brand new information. I’d never thought of a trip to the airport in that way. I was going to a conference and most people I showed it to had the same reaction. They said “Wow! I don’t usually think of a trip in terms of the direct cost.”
And the nicest thing about Fuse is that it’s completely automatic. You don’t have to remember to turn it on or start an app on your phone. Fuse doesn’t stop working when you get a call. Fuse records every trip and makes them available to you in a secure, private place. You can classify them for business purposes such as billing or taxes. You can see where you car is now or where it’s been. You can see the number of trips in a given day and their total milage. And of course, the cost.
Naturally, trips aren’t the only thing a connected car can do. There are cool applications for carpooling, home automation, car maintenance, and alerts for dangerous conditions or things that need to be fixed. We spend so much time in and money on our cars. Connecting them and using the information they’re already generating for our own purposes offers us more convenience and peace of mind. It can also positively impact the environment by making us aware of how much and how far we drive.
If knowing how much you drive encourages you to drive less and everyone else with Fuse also drives less, we’ll be that much closer to a world where we consume less energy, generate less greenhouse gas, and yet live better, more fulfilled lives.
Fuse is a project on Kickstarter. You can help make Fuse a reality by pledging your support today.
Phil Windley is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Kynetx. Kynetx provide a cloud-based application platform that is uniquely architected to use events, personal data, and APIs to create social products and services. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University where he teaches courses on reputation, digital identity, large-scale system design, and programming languages. Phil writes the popular Technometria blog and is a frequent contributor to various technical publications. He is also the author of the books The Live Web published by Course Technology in 2011 and Digital Identity published by O’Reilly Media in 2005.
Prior to joining BYU, Phil spent two years as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the State of Utah, serving on Governor Mike Leavitt’s Cabinet and as a member of his Senior Staff. Before entering public service, Phil was Vice President for Product Development and Operations at Excite@Home. He was the Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of iMALL, Inc. an early creator of electronic commerce tools. Phil serves on the Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards for several high-tech companies. Phil received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Univ. of California, Davis in 1990.
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