BOB HIRSHON (host):
Diagnosing cars by listening. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Auto mechanics know that understanding what’s wrong with a car is often a matter of listening—not to the car’s owner, but to the car itself.
JOSHUA SIEGEL (MIT):
And I realized if people can do this, computers have to be able to do this as well.
That’s MIT engineer Joshua Siegel. In the journal Engineering Applications and Artificial Intelligence, he and his colleagues describe software that uses a smartphone’s microphone, vibration sensors and other tools to diagnose everything from spark and ignition problems to tire pressure and suspension issues while you drive.
So we’ve had very good luck using those in-phone sensors to determine everything about your engine, a lot of things about your suspension, and this is just the start.
Eventually, he says eventually the tool will not only diagnose car problems, but also report the location and severity of road surface issues, like potholes. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.