German sustainable mobility start-up, Compredict, is working on artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled software for predictive maintenance and usage monitoring of vehicles. In a partnership with Silicon Valley-based software company Palantir Technologies, the company is working on virtual sensors for connected vehicles to improve both efficiency and sustainability.

Data-driven virtual sensors are intended to replace hardware sensors across automotive applications and GlobalData thematic research expects they will form the foundation for software-based vehicles of the future.

Software-enabled vehicles are not a new phenomenon. But advances in AI, mean that a vehicle equipped with highly data-driven software can now minimise carbon emissions, add new measurement capabilities to existing and new vehicles, provide vehicle health and usage monitoring, and pave the way for predictive maintenance management. Benefits to users may include reduced warranty costs and faster access to vehicle maintenance.

Dr. Stéphane Foulard, Compredict CEO and co-founder, told Verdict that virtual sensors in vehicles can measure things which are not usually measured. “It’s like putting an algorithm directly into the vehicle without actually putting in a sensor. The technology measures quantities, which usually not accessible in a traditional vehicle,” said Foulard.

For example, a virtual sensor can measure the tread depth of a tire. With this information, another virtual sensor is capable of predicting when the tyre will reach the end of its life, explains Foulard. The technology will support a predictive maintenance service enabling a customer and a service provider to enter into a virtuous cycle.

The applications for virtual sensor technology apply to the manufacturing of vehicles and various stages of the vehicle value chain. “We’re working on replacing some hardware sensors for car manufacturers to reduce cost of production as well,” Foulard told Verdict.

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By GlobalData

As the automotive industry incorporates emerging technologies such as AI, much of a vehicle’s performance will be determined by technology applications such as virtual sensors. GlobalData estimates that by 2030, 80% of the value of a vehicle will reside in its software and content, with AI making up much of a car’s software component to enable precision targeting and customising of the content.