Connected Cars 2021: Top Benefits and Features
In this article, we look at how the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to transform the automobile industry, leading to the development of connected cars, smart telematics, the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) and more.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing practically every industry on earth. In agriculture, IoT solutions have enabled farmers and agronomists to grow more robust crop yields. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM), meanwhile, have leveraged connected technologies to build everything from home security systems with two-way audio and livestreaming security cameras to smart kiosks for banks and other service-oriented businesses.
However, one of the most promising sectors for IoT is the automobile industry. Indeed, smart solutions have already manifested themselves in connected cars, smart telematics, the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), smart transportation and logistics, and more. These advancements promise to take the automotive world to the next level, delivering improved driver experiences, safety, fuel consumption, and life-time value. As we note on our Industry Pages, IoT promises to…
- Improve telematics, preventative maintenance, accident prevention, and infotainment systems.
- Bolster emergency on-call services and enable other in-vehicle concierge services.
- Facilitate remote or Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates across an entire fleet of connected vehicles.
- Capture and share actionable diagnostics and track driver behavior.
- Create new revenue opportunities with location services, value-added services, and direct, affiliate, and affinity marketing.
What Are Connected Cars?
Plainly put, a connected car is a motor vehicle that is capable of connecting to the internet and therefore sharing internet access and data with other devices inside or outside of the car. These days, many connected vehicles come with mobile apps that enable drivers to perform remote starts, adjust radio settings, etc. However, increasingly, these IoT capabilities are branching into the world of logistics, fleet management, and much, much more.
Top Benefits and Features of Connected Cars
Self-Driving Cars and Autonomous Vehicles
Self-driving cars are one of the most promising connected car use cases. As the name implies, autonomous vehicles are those that enable travel without direct human engagement. This is achieved via a combination of sensors, cameras, radars, and artificial intelligence (AI).
While Tesla’s autopilot feature and Alphabet’s (Google) Waymo are perhaps the most well-known autonomous vehicle projects, other major automakers are also investing in the technology, including Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Heck, even Apple, which is rumored to be working on an iOS-integrated self-driving car, appears to be getting into the arena.
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications
V2V communication refers to the ability of vehicles to wirelessly exchange information about their speed, location, and heading. They enable vehicles to broadcast and receive omni-directional messages, creating a 360-degree awareness of other vehicles in their proximity. V2V communications are the key to practically all other connected car use cases, and the technology will play a leading role in the future of the automobile industry.
Onboard Communications and Integrations
Another key piece to the connected car environment is the ability of vehicles to integrate and communicate with user devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) and services (streaming apps, ride sharing apps, etc.). Common examples include app-powered remote start capabilities, real-time health checks (low fuel, oil change, etc.), vehicle tracking (in case you can’t find it in the parking lot or it gets stolen), and more.
Logistics and Fleet Management
Supply chains disruptions are getting a lot of airtime these days — even on this blog! And while many of the issues currently bogging down distribution are beyond the scope of connected vehicle technology, such solutions have nevertheless begun to sand down some of the rough edges of logistics and fleet management.
Connected trucks and delivery vehicles facilitate real-time delivery tracking, insight into driver behavior, improved fleet maintenance, and more. To focus on just one example, by using smart sensors to track and manage vehicle health — including things like brake pad condition, engine oil levels, cargo weight, fuel consumption, etc. — transportation companies can extend the lifetime of their vehicles by making informed maintenance decisions.
Finally, it should be noted that the same technology used to manage ground-based fleets can be implemented in air and maritime fleets as well.
Edge Computing and Autonomous Vehicles
Another promising technology for the future of connected vehicles is edge computing. Consider this, a single self-driving test vehicle can produce upwards of 30 terabytes of data in a single day of driving. For the less technically inclined, that is what the experts refer to as “a truckload.”
In any case, even if the autonomous vehicles that eventually reach production generate less data on average, there will still be a need for better data management practices due to the increased number of vehicles on the road. Edge computing, which brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data, could therefore be a perfect solution to the data problem.
What is more, edge computing promises to reduce latency, meaning autonomous vehicles will be able to access the data they need faster. As such, autonomous safety systems will be able to analyze data more efficiently, facilitating potentially life-saving decisions.
Smart Integration: Smart Cities, Smart Public Transportation, Traffic, and Parking Management
IoT and 5G technologies will also facilitate better integration between connected vehicles and smart city deployments. Take traffic and parking management, for example:
- Smart Vehicles can communicate their proximity to one another, reducing the likelihood of collisions. This has obvious implications for traffic safety, but less obvious implications for things like the car and life insurance.
- Along the same lines, traffic flow can be improved by enabling vehicles to communicate with traffic lights and other infrastructure.
- Parking spot sensors are another increasingly common smart city solution. Connected vehicles can detect open spots nearby and direct drivers to them.
- From a public transportation perspective, connected busses, metros, and taxis can keep commuters informed with real-time ETA updates.
Learn more about Pareteum’s IoT and Connected Car connectivity solutions. Contact one of our experts today!
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