Analysing an autorickshaw ride in Bangalore

The bumpy ride on the Bangalore streets triggered a thought the other day, why not log the data and analyse it later(whackily purposeless initially). 
The desire to log is esp. a fallout of my recent stint with user studies dealing with data cleaning/analysis and deriving statistical results from it: formally two-way ANOVA tests, T-tests etc. and who doesn't love clean graphs telling a story :-)

Without giving much thought, I tied my Macbook Pro equipped with SuddenMotionSensor(SMS) to the auto-rickshaw seat and used to log the X/Y/Z axis data in CSV format. I manually kept a record through a stopwatch about the potholes/pit occurrence during the 25 minute rick-ride. It was interesting to the see the outliers due to the sudden relative motion triggered jerks.

Ankit and I plotted a few qualitative graphs out of the sampled CSV data(6731 datalogs). I matched the spikes with the manually recorded pothole/sudden-jerk data to see the obvious but visually pleasing results :)
Red color shows the X, Orange shows the Y and Blue shows the Z displacements. 

I dont know the exact use of this approach. Just that cheap accelerometers could be a good way to present the logged data as analytics to the user. Next time I'll commute the same route through a citybus and share my analysis within the same blogpost. :-) If anyone's interested in the raw manual+automatically recorded data, let me know!


  1. Is this sms feature is only in mac. is it an external device or dome software

  2. AFAIK, its only on a mac. Its an internal device used to prevent hard-disk damage. Just software can't do that. BTW, a cheap Wiimote or a logger written on a smartphone can also do that. :)