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What's the Year, Make, and Model of Your Vehicular Cloud?

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Cars in an airport parking lot.

Engineers at Old Dominion University are investigating the use of Internet-connected vehicles as a computing cloud.

Credit: Morey Milbradt/Getty Images

Old Dominion University (ODU) engineers want to use Internet-connected cars as a cloud computing resource.

Cars' powerful on-board computers, ample storage, and reliable wireless Internet connectivity would work as part of ad-hoc data centers that tackle computing jobs. The vehicular cloud would be set up in a parking lot that can accommodate thousands of cars, each operating as a virtual machine. A mechanism would automatically identify an available car the instant it enters the parking lot and alert the other car or cars with which it is sharing a task when it is about to exit.

The ODU team describes schemes for assigning computing jobs to cars and also characterizes how likely it is that a pending number-crunching job would have to be restarted from scratch because drivers have returned and need their cars for transportation.

The researchers report in simulations, the mean time to failure for two-car work groups never exceeded 250 hours. Short jobs that are not too memory- or network-intensive would be good for two cars, according to former ODU postdoctoral student Puya Ghazizadeh.

From IEEE Spectrum
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