It has become common practice to manufacture vehicles with a sophisticated onboard diagnostics system that allows for mechanics and car buffs easily access the vehicle's inner workings.
Designing technology to read this data in automobiles has become a competitive market. Hundreds of products currently exist for reading and compiling this data into useful reports.
If we've been able to do this since the 1978 Datsun 280Z, why are we not applying similar technology for our boats?
That's the million dollar question, and one we intend to answer.
Over the past 3 years, we have been experimenting with compact computer systems. Given the fact these computers are getting smaller every year, but remaining just as powerful, there is massive potential in creating mobile monitoring systems.
We chose to pursue the route of gathering 3-Axis GPS data. But as much as we knew the use for GPS data was extremely important, we quickly realized that we could take it one step further.
On board engine diagnostics and data gathering has become commonplace in the automotive industry, yet there is little in the space of diagnostics for boats. New ocean going vessels will have on board engine data. But what about the fleets of commercial tugboats, or the thousands of pleasure crafts sitting in marinas across the globe?
Each is built with the networking and electrical system that send engine data internally. So why not intercept that information being transferred and store it for practical use? A simple CAN Bus adapter in the right location will provide us with multiple streams of useful engine data.
By pairing our technology with a CAN Bus adapter we have created the CANBoat Monitor, which is able to read engine data from virtually any engine in circulation.
With all that being said, here is where we want to go with it.
By linking a CAN bus adapter to the computer system on a boat, we can relay that data to the CANBoat Monitor. This data will be compiled, stored, and analyzed. Therefore allowing us to generate reports pertaining to the engines current condition and guidelines for general maintenance.
Along with the engine data gathered, we would also be able to incorporate the GPS data being gathered at the same time.
There currently are products that offer basic GPS data monitoring/tracking and sensor alerts for pleasure crafts. But none of them would simultaneously offer accurate engine diagnostics or usage reports.
The need for such a product is obvious, the concept now exists, but the application is just getting started.
Proof Of Concept
We have spent a great deal of time building and designing this concept. Below is a prototype product that gathers data using the CANBoat Monitor. The primary data we have collected is GPS location, and the accelerometer through driving of a 2003 Honda Civic.
The voyage data monitor stores the data and forwards it to the cloud where you can review it at your leisure.
This sample information is based on a daily commute home.