Electric vehicles drive IoT research at four universities

Researchers will use vehicles' sensor data and Internet2 resources to broaden understanding of the Internet of Things.

Electric vehicles will soon be driving university research on the Internet of Things.

Four universities will each receive a uniquely equipped electric vehicle for research to reduce the campus’s carbon footprint, foster research involving sensor data, use Internet2’s advanced technologies and broaden understanding of the Internet of Things.

Colorado State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington and the University Wisconsin were selected by Internet2 and Innova UEV LLC, manufacturer of an all-electric micro vehicle,  for specific research projects. At the conclusion of the projects, all aggregated data will become anonymous and publicly available for any researcher.

This project is part of Internet2’s larger effort to support member research involving sensor data collection, analysis and interactivity/ interoperability across networks. The project also hopes to foster broader applicability for seamless sign-on and federated identity – all key to deepening understanding of the Internet of Things, according to an Internet2 statement.

The university electric vehicle (UEV) project will also feature:

  • Federated single sign-on to the vehicle’s computer via Intenet2’s InCommon, a federated identity management solution for education and research end users. 
  • A global roaming wireless Internet connection via Internet2 eduroam, which lets the UEVs transmit data to the campus network.
  • The ability to share data generated by the Innova Dash over the 100 gigabit Ethernet Intenet2 network.

The UEVs will be equipped with a tablet-sized personal computer controlling the electronics and advanced technologies. The UEVs will connect automatically to the campus’s Wi-Fi network via an installed 802.11x certificate and Internet2’s eduroam technology. This enables the vehicle to communicate operational data, such as position, speed and battery charge, to the campus’s computer network, where the data can support relevant research projects.

With a mobile application, users will know if a vehicle is available, where it is and where it will be. UEV users will be able to use their campus identification and password credentials provided by Internet2’s InCommon service to log in, reserve, activate vehicle use and provide comments on the vehicle’s performance and utility.

“We are excited about these four campuses that are regional leaders in sustainability using these electric vehicles to enhance research, adopt advanced technologies, and enhance campus carbon footprint reductions,” said Steve Wolff, Internet2 interim chief technology officer.

“As more devices are connected to each other via the Internet and provide data that helps us make thoughtful decisions, it’s key that the Internet2 research and education community is at the cutting-edge of the technology and opportunities. We look forward to learning the results from these Internet of Things’ research projects and hearing, what’s next.”

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