Seeking Smartphone-based Solution to Determine the State of Health of an Automotive


Electronics - Sensors & Instrumentation


A Singapore based company in the land transport sector is seeking a solution to map out the vibrational and sound profiles of automotives. The company has a large fleet of diesel and petrol internal combustion (IC) engine vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. Due to the large number of vehicles involved, it is seeking for a portable, non-contact, smartphone-based solution to map out the vibrational and sound ‘signatures’ of the vehicles so as to ascertain the state of health of these vehicles. At present, this task is carried out manually by a team of skilled technicians using state of the art diagnostic tools that are plugged into the OBD as well as leveraging their years of experience in automotive repairs to identify the state of health of the vehicles. However, due to large size of their fleet and that their fleets are not located in a single locality all the time, it is not economical to deploy technicians to all these localities (including outside Singapore).

Technology Specification

The solution should be portable, simple to use and operable by a non-technical person. It is envisioned that the solution could include both hardware and software. These will be integrated into a smartphone, it may have a attachment and a mobile APP. The project will be conducted in phases:

Phase 1: Data collection and analytics

  • Detect and map out the vibrational and sound signatures of vehicles using the sensors already existing on a smartphone
  • Profile the signatures for identification and classifying these into different makes, model, age and engine capacities
  • Operate in an environment where there is background/ambient noise.
  • Do not need extra sensors but if it is absolutely needed, it should be limited to just one sensor i.e. additional to the one already in the smartphone.

Phase 2: Fault detection

  • Using digital technology such signal processing, machine learning, AI, etc, draw insights from the data collected to ascertain the state of health of the vehicle i.e., engine wear and tear, age vs mileage, possible defects of key mechanical sub-systems of the IC engine e.g. water pump, turbocharger, mis-firing, etc.
  • Propose and develop a measurement/performance matrix to rank the vehicles based on their state of health for further decision making e.g., repair of defective parts, write-off, etc 

The data collected should be transmitted to a central location for future use. Cybersecurity aspects needs to be addressed as well. However, this can be considered at a later stage once the technical aspects of data collection and analytics have been addressed.


  1. Solutions that required the vehicle to be moved into a specially constructed quiet environment will not be considered.
  2. Solutions that require the set-up of multiple external sensors around the vehicle will not be considered. 
  3. Purely literature-based studies.

Preferred Business Model

  • IP Acquisition
  • Licensing
  • R&D Collaboration