The aim of the automotive industry is to attain advanced, personalized and improved human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interaction through IoT.
One of the classic examples is Tesla. The electric car giant is developing connected cars with advanced features for a superior driving experience. May it be controlling vehicle functioning like charging, air conditioning or be it parking or summoning the car, Tesla’s car has already achieved a lot in terms of being “connected”.
Giants like Google and Apple have already designed systems to sync smartphones with vehicles. This allows drivers to take calls, receive messages, access maps, receive data and interact with infotainment apps.
Insights about connected cars
IoT will transform the car industry and we will discuss “how” it will change our cars (and driving experience).
But, let’s start with the basic.
With constant advancements in technology, there are no limits to what a “connected car” could be. All you need to know is - A connected car is a powerhouse of technologies.
According to McKinsey, a connected car can optimize its own operation, maintenance and convenience of passengers using internet connectivity.
What is a connected car?
Let us discuss a few futuristic IoT trends in connected cars:
Driverless cars is no longer a work of fiction, futurists or countless hollywood movies. The imagination is turning into reality.
With increasing internet connectivity, the connected cars become more and more autonomous. It will not be long before the network connectivity will extend beyond the car and to the environment around it.
But, how is it possible to extend it beyond the car? As cars and objects around are becoming embedded with IoT data gathering and sharing technologies, driving experiences will undergo major change due to ease of communication between devices.
To give you a few examples: Smart traffic lights will indicate the car to stop, go or turn. If you are in a new district, the car will be able to tell you about local attractions. As more and more cars get connected, they will be able to communicate with each other and increase the safety on roads and manage traffic effectively.
IoT connected cars are equipped with smart sensors to detect the surroundings and the capability to use satellite positioning to know the location. Along with connectivity they have with other devices and cars, it is also possible to exchange information regarding traffic, obstacles, conditions etc.
Put together, these technologies help increase safety measures in the car and decrease congestion on the roads.
One of the prominent safety gears is LiDAR, a light detecting and ranging radar which detects car surroundings (objects and distance, for example) with an aim to avoid obstacles and collisions.
While Tesla does not use this technology, Google driverless car uses LiDAR technology. It works in the areas where a sensor, as well as camera, fails to work. However, future cars will require features of all three.
Telematics applications are equipped with several safety features. First, it is equipped to make emergency calls in case of accidents. Secondly, telematic helps in improving maintenance of the vehicle. It takes out the element of human error and replaces it with rigorous maintenance schedules and diagnosis of minute faults quickly. Thirdly, telematics can help in tracking and detect the whereabouts in case theft.
A lot of cars come along with an integrated GPS system these days. However, the ability to receive signals from multiple satellite systems, gather data from different sensors embedded in the car and using this information will enhance time and accuracy in determining vehicle position and other safety applications.
In our daily lives, we use so many connected devices which are enabled by smartphones or tablets. These devices have become such an integral part of our lives that we would prefer these interactions to continue seamlessly inside the cars as well. This is turning into reality!
A lot of cars already have a built-in infotainment system which can be connected with smartphones to give us a hands-free experience. Features like smart play, smartphone integration, windscreen display or head up display, cloud based infotainment systems, interior personalization etc are becoming common.
Moreover, infotainment systems are also used in road assistance for driver safety. Features like video and data recording from rearview (or the windscreen), night vision cameras and black box recording contribute towards safety.
Usage based insurance (UBI) made its debut over a decade from now. Progressive Insurance Company and GMAC were at the forefront of such insurance. They began offering mileage-linked discounts and tracked miles driven using GPS technology and cellular systems.
With advancements in technology, telematics has now upgraded. It has the ability to record, trace, collect and transfer data relating to driver habits and behavior, which can help insurance companies in customizing policies based on driving habits and identify fraudulent insurance claims. This encourages safer and more economical driving practices.
All of us have experienced the long queues at the petrol stations to pay at the card machines. What if we told you this problem will soon be resolved because of Iot?
Yes, you read it right.
Pay at pump will revolutionize how we pay for fuel (and soon other things as well!). In future, we will be able to pay through our connected cars.
Similar to all other connected devices, security is a concern with connected cars as well. The large amount of data collected by a connected car and critical components like safety systems need to be protected from hackers. But, there is no denial that connected cars will soon transform our driving experience.
These are a few examples of how IoT is changing our cars. At present, Tesla, Nissan, Audi, BMW and Jaguar are manufacturing connected cars. It won’t be very long before these cars become a commonality. Soon we will be able to drive without steering, pay without cards, access news and social media on dashboards.
We cannot wait to get our hands on these cars. What features would you want to have in your connected car?