IoT Trends 2016 (V): Driving and Commuting in the IoT era

Published by Enrique Centeno Smart Mobility

IoT Trends 2016 (V). We have asked experts from leading companies in different areas of the IoT to give us their view on a certain aspect of the Internet of Things within their field of expertise. Thus, in this series you will be able to read relevant content about how the IoT is revolutionising different aspects of our everyday life such as Connectivity, Security, Transport, Health, Utilities or Innovation among others.

The IoT Transport industry is the world’s second biggest Internet of Things business area. With connected car technology expected to be a 40.3 billion dollar market in 2016, innovation remains a priority in order to deliver new features to drivers and commuters.

The connected car has undoubtedly created a behavioural shift in drivers that have had to adapt to receiving and managing a great deal of information from several on board sources and put them to use in order to drive more efficiently and safely. The balance of how much information drivers can effectively manage without becoming distracted remains one of the priorities for car makers in order to implement features with a safety-first approach.

For this post I would like to focus the scope on the four growth areas in the IoT Transport business that affect driving and commuting without considering the rest of growth areas that impact on vehicle security, fleet management, on board infotainment and other useful features.

Let us guide the way             

Centuries ago, exploration parties had mapping specialists that drafted on the spot maps of uncharted territory for further use. We have rescued this basic concept and announced a new map generation system explained at CES 2016 designed to combine on board cameras and GPS systems in a fascinating way. Car cameras and positioning data will be gathered anonymously and sent to a Toyota Data Center, where it will be processed and combined to improve maps for existing vehicles and future self-driving technology equipped vehicles. These improvements will represent no additional cost for the driver, and are geared to have an impact on improving road safety and map precision.

Combining Vehicle to Vehicle with Vehicle to Infrastructure Data

We have also recently launched the ITS Connect System, an initiative to improve driving performance and drastically reduce accidents. Cooperative vehicle to vehicle (v2v) features allow cars to receive information in real time regarding speed changes and traffic density, and can automatically override cruise control systems in order to make motorway driving more efficient, thus reducing unnecessary braking, to ease traffic, cut carbon dioxide emissions and decrease fuel consumption.

Additional vehicle to infrastructure (v2i) connections will link vehicles to the streets of Smart Cities allowing strategically positioned beacons to inform drivers of relevant information to avoid accidents, traffic jams, improve safety and also reduce time to destination.

Ha:Mo, a look at tomorrow’s urban mobility

Mobility in Smart Cities is a huge challenge as population concentrate more and more in urban areas, where commuting to work takes up so much of our time and air quality also represents a real concern. The public and private effort is concentrated on finding efficient ways to integrate personal vehicles and public transportation for these urban areas to expand, overcoming a potential traffic collapse. Toyota designed a next-generation system called Ha:Mo, that combines shared (Uber style) ultracompact electric vehicles (i-ROAD and COMS), combined with route information (through Smartphones), and public transport scheduling to offer users the best combination of means of transportation in real time.

This balance of personal vehicles, public transportation and a fleet of shared ultra-compact electric vehicles brings a wealth of information that can help authorities know when there will be a surge of commuters and reinforce bus or train frequencies, it will help individuals arrive on time and will take the focus away from vehicle ownership to much more sustainable pay per use transportation models that adapt better to the capacity Smart Cities have of absorbing millions and millions of new commuters on existing roads usually developed decades ago. There are currently two Ha:Mo pilot projects: one in Toyota City in Japan and the other in Grenoble, France.

Enrique Centeno
PR & Corporate Affairs General Manager, Toyota España