Applying Semantic Web Technologies to Car Repairs

Applying Semantic Web Technologies to Car Repairs

Martin Bryan (CSW Group Ltd., UK) and Jay Cousins (CSW Group Ltd., UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-066-0.ch002
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Abstract

Vehicle repair organizations, especially those involved in providing roadside assistance, have to be able to handle a wide range of vehicles produced by different manufacturers. Each manufacturer has its own vocabulary for describing components, faults, symptoms, etc, which is maintained in multiple languages. To search online resources to find repair information on vehicles anywhere within the European Single Market, the vocabularies used to describe different makes and models of vehicles need to be integrated. The European Commission MYCAREVENT research project brought together European vehicle manufacturers, vehicle repair organisations, diagnostic tool manufacturers and IT specialists, including Semantic Web technologists, to study how to link together the wide range of information sets they use to identify faults and repair vehicles. MYCAREVENT has shown that information sets can be integrated and accessed through a service portal by using an integrated vocabulary. The integrated vocabulary provides a ‘shared language’ for the project, a reference terminology to which the disparate terminologies of organisations participating in the project can be mapped. This lingua franca facilitates a single point of access to disparate sets of information.
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Problem Statement

With the ever increasing use of electronics in vehicle components, identifying and correcting faults at the roadside or in an independent workshop is becoming a challenge. While the use of on-board diagnostic tools to report faults electronically via dashboard messages can assist mechanics, identifying the cause of a fault from such messages is not always a simple process. When faults are reported over the phone from remote locations sufficient diagnostic information may only be obtainable if the vehicle can be connected directly to the call centre information centre using tools such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) or mobile phones that can be connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic ports.

A roadside assistance vehicle cannot contain the wiring schematics for all models of vehicles. Although, under European Union Block Exemption Regulation (European Commission, 2002), manufacturers provide access to all their repair information, repairers at the roadside are not always easily able to find the repair information that they need, particularly if this is related to a previously unreported fault, while physical and business constraints impose restrictions on the set of spare parts, tools, etc, that can be available in the workshop or repair van at any one time.Consequently, the following problem areas can be identified:

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