FCD

With version 4.2 of our GPS Navigation 2, we have introduced the Floating Car Data (FCD) feature. FCD allows us to improve our products in a variety of ways. In essence, every skobbler user can help to make skobbler better every day. FCD is completely anonymous and cannot be traced back to individual persons. In the following, we explain the most important FCD topics.

WHAT IS FLOATING CAR DATA (FCD)?

FCD is a set of localisation data, speed, direction of travel and time information from mobile phones in vehicles that are being driven. It is generally used determine a proxy for the traffic flow on the road to enhance traffic analysis and prediction as well as routing quality. In the mobile phone context, it is often referred to as Floating Cellular Data. You find more information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_car_data

WHAT WILL SKOBBLER USE FCD FOR?

We will use FCD to make our services based on the OpenStreetMap better. With your help, we can greatly improve the quality of our routing, thus enhancing the service for all skobbler customers significantly. In essence, you help us to provide better service to you. In the mid-term, we will also use this data to create/enhance a traffic service within our products.

Please bear in mind though that we will need some time to evaluate the collected data and to determine the areas, which can be improved in the most meaningful way based on this data as well as the most sensible way to successively roll out the improvements.

We also think about how this data can be used to improve the OpenStreetMap itself. We have some great ideas, yet it also remains to be evaluated in this context, what is possible and what is not - based on the actual quality of the collected data. As an example, we will definitely use it to report errors to the OSM community via MapDust.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING FCD TRANSMISSION AND WHAT IS TRANSMITTED?

During FCD use, the app sends movement data of the current trip to the skobbler server. It does so every 3 minutes. When no server connection is available at that time, the data is temporarily saved offline and then sent with the next connection.

This information is transmitted:

  • Positions and time of positions during the previous period:
    -X coordinate
    -Y coordinate
    -Course (0° - 360°)
    -Time
    -Map area (skobbler tile)
    -Road segment
    -Accuracy estimate of GPS position
    -Routing status (e.g. whether the app was re-routing at the time)
  • Randomly generated unique Trip ID to identify individual trips; the trip ID is not associated with or based on any device information to prevent the possibility of backtracking various trip IDs to individual devices.
  • Drive mode: navigation or sko-Pilot mode
  • General information on which device type (e.g. iPhone 3GS) and which firmware version (e.g. iOS 5.0) is used. This is done, since older devices usually have worse positioning accuracy, which has to be taken into account.

WHAT ABOUT PRIVACY? WHAT IF I DON’T WANT FCD ENABLED?

We do the following things to both keep your data private and anonymous and give you full control on whether FCD is sent at all:

  • No unique, identifiable data like device UDIDs or login data is transmitted.
  • Each trip gets a randomly generated ID, preventing attribution of various trips to individual devices.
  • You can easily turn off FCD transmission within the Settings of your app.
  • If you turn FCD off within your app, no data will be collected or sent. Any cached data will be deleted.

We are always open to suggestions on how to further improve the privacy and anonymity of our service. If you have any reasonable suggestions, please let us know. We’ll gladly listen to your input.