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A phone app that listens to your car and could warn of impending trouble

Friday October 27, 2017. 06:50 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge / MIT researchers are working on an app that uses a smartphone's microphone and accelerometers to diagnose impending maintenance problems. (credit: Getty / Aurich)
As cars get smarter, more and more of them are going to give their owners preventative maintenance alerts. It's one of the benefits to consumers regularly touted by advocates of the connected car, and even some older cars can get in on the action via aftermarket units that connect to a car's onboard diagnostics port.
However, that last one might not be necessary if a technique being developed by some researchers at MIT pans out. Rather than plugging a diagnostic dongle into a car's controller area network—with the attendant hacking risk—Joshua Siegel and his colleagues reckon a smartphone's microphone and accelerometers could be sufficient.
Some of his research has just been published in Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence; specifically a paper that shows that audio data collected by a smartphone alone can diagnose an air filter that needs to be changed.
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