Cape to Cape for Big Data

It took the VW Touareg 21 days and 16 hours to cover the 18,000 kilometers from the North Cape in Norway to South Africa. The “Cape to Cape” challenge was designed to investigate how much data a networked car can collect. To this end, it was equipped with sensors, radar and measuring devices, enabling it to deliver several thousand measurements per second.

Racing driver and record chaser Rainer Zietlow took turns driving the VW Touareg with two co-drivers. IT provider HP and IAV equipped the vehicle with measuring instruments, while IAV contributed its experience in the fields of on-board electronics and vehicle sensor technology.

In total, the drive yielded 1.6 billion database lines, plus image files from the dashboard camera and other inputs such as traffic information and weather data.

A flood of data every second

In one second, the Touareg produced several thousand measurement data.The chassis sensors provided the most data, firing at 1000/s per sensor.

It was an enormous challenge for the board IT to transfer the huge amounts of data to the cloud in real time.To make matters worse, Internet coverage was not stable in every area. In particular, when extreme conditions occurred while driving, the car generated more data than the cloud could accommodate.

Overall, the technically fully equipped Touareg provided a large amount of insightful sensor data – important information for the further development of intelligent connected vehicles and applications ranging from improved traffic control to autonomous driving.