I read IoT and Predictive Maintenance by Bosch.

The article states:

Predictive maintenance is one such IoT/M2M solution that helps lower operating and capital costs by facilitating proactive servicing and repair of assets, while allowing the more efficient use of repair resources – both human labor and replacement products

For vehicles equipped with such technology, does the service company use telemetry to fetch data from vehicles, mine the data to predict repairs/maintenance needs, and alerts the owner?

My car's dashboard has a number of indicators. But, generally for me and others I know, goal is to avoid these warnings and go with servicing schedule. Even then, there are times we aren't alerted by the dash, people do report mis-alerts, service personnel do not detect failures. I hope technology is moving forward, there are ways to upload data and predict which dashboard isn't equipped. E.g., car engine quickly heats up but not enough to light dash-light

I am curious to know if there are deployments of this or similar technology?

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    No acceptable source to give, so just putting this as a comment, but AFAIK, all existing sensors communicate via CAN network. An "IoT" device can then spy this network and then uplink data to any app or server.
    – le_daim
    Jul 20, 2017 at 15:18
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    "Are there" questions are generally too broad for the Stack Exchange "specific answers to specific questions" design philosophy. Of course the "change oil" light is a long existing example of predictive maintenance signaled on the dash. Jul 20, 2017 at 15:54
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    This is an interesting topic, but I agree it is the wrong question. Oil changes in a car are not high value, since regular inspection is also important in this context. The 'what communication channel' is irrelevant the the question of 'is it done', and that itself is old news (for oil change, US models in particular, since 2010 at least). Suggest keep the quote, and replace the 4 sub-questions by one (as hinted by the answer above). What specific benefit do you want, and what is driving you to want this to be better? Jul 21, 2017 at 8:30
  • @ChrisStratton the dashboard light is at best preventive maintenance (or more precisely nagging you to do so) it is not predictive maintenance. It's either schedule or filling degree dependent. None of those is predictive.
    – Helmar
    Jul 24, 2017 at 12:05
  • @Helmar - schedules are predictive, maybe not in a very sophisticated way, but the oil light is triggered either by some amount of distance or time that someone argued was when it would be "needed". The time in operation or operation plus storage or distance covered is a very low quality piece of state information, but it is state information - the difference is one of information and model quality, not of concept. Jul 24, 2017 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Calling this an IoT solution is maybe a little bit optimistic when describing current deployments. The overall goal is to move away from a set of regular service schedules (which is quite a primitive approach) and optimise the trips to the workshop to be fewer, and cover more items at once. This has probably been done with oil changes (taking temperature into account) for longer than anything else.

Taking data from multiple sources, aggregating across multiple vehicles to identify early indicators of potential failure, etc. is more of an emerging field - but companies like Tesla certainly do collect telemetry from their vehicles (and use this to tune their software, as well as sending notifications to the users). A small car is maybe not the best target to be collecting preventative maintenance data on, although there is no reason that the consumables couldn't be instrumented (and this is actually quite important for pool cars, or autonomous vehicles).

With larger machinery (or electronic components which have a limited life) there may be more scope for correlating behaviour across a wider population - and scheduling down-time maybe gives a better return for expensive equipment.

As for handling the alerts, cars are not limited to displaying a set of pre-set icons using bulbs, things have moved on. Many cars have a small dot-matrix display at least, and full colour fully flexible dash displays are not unusual. Provided the reliability issues are addressed, a flexible display may actually save money over traditional mechanical indicators.

If there is a safety issue, the car can adopt a 'limp home' mode, or a pop-up on the dash which needs to be dismissed before the car starts. How sensible it is to have cars linked to the internet, with phone apps for remote control is debatable, but this is the new norm.

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