The Future of Connected Vehicles and the IoT

Published by Edward Kulperger Smart Mobility

Connected vehicles are increasingly becoming reality, and in fact, you may have even had the chance to drive one. A study carried out by PwC entitled The Bright Future of Connected Cars suggests that worldwide sales of connected vehicles will almost quadruple between 2015 and 2020, generating more than 110 billion euros (149 billion dollars) in revenue in the passenger segment alone.

For both business and company use, the ecosystem of products and services around these vehicles is growing and shifting our conventional idea of driving thanks to the endless possibilities offered by this industry.

In this sense, on a professional level, open platforms are already revolutionising fleet management capacities using the IoT as a “hub” for the vehicle, with functionalities which go far beyond basic tracking by GPS, such as with leasing and rental services, which are becoming more popular, the proactive maintenance of the vehicle fleet.

So what benefits are there? Why does the transformation towards smart vehicles seem unstoppable?

The Crucial Role of Big Data

One of the cornerstones to explaining the benefits of this innovation in transport is directly related to the capacity to generate and store a vast amount of data, which are analysed thanks to Big Data. Access to such a huge volume of analysed information brings improvements and new possibilities. Organisations that are capable of understanding the value of these data for their clients and society at large will have a unique competitive advantage.

Engineering companies like Geotab develop technology which allows the automation of  many driving related processes, improving critical factors like transport efficiency, sustainability and productivity. This technology allows drivers to determine not only the quickest route and most detailed itinerary but also to monitor fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Fleet management solutions already provide detailed information on the automobile’s performance and automatically send this information to insurance companies and fleet managers.

Most importantly, the new IoT technologies help bring down the number of accidents: driver assistance and safety systems have advanced features like seat belt detection, collision warning, and accident notifications. Additionally, systems already exist which monitor vital functions of drivers like their pulse, fatigue symptoms and send alerts about possible problems.

As a whole, this array of new features will largely expand the capacities of connected vehicles in the future, transforming not only the way we drive but how we buy and maintain vehicles, and also how manufacturers sell them. Gathering smart data offers companies and drivers a vast trove of resources and opportunities as they grow, expand and increasingly connect with the IoT.

The Smart City Revolution

Almost all smart cities have one or several of the following objectives:

1.   Safety: Reducing accidents, injuries, fatalities and EMS response times.

2.   Sustainability: Reducing CO2 emissions and other pollutants/contaminants.

3.   Efficiency: Improving city operations.

4.   Equality: Creating more opportunities in under-privileged urban areas.

5.   Engagement: Improving citizen engagement and social interactions.

In this sense, remote devices are becoming an important part of the smart city movement. Today’s solutions allow road and highway conditions to be analysed, along with the traffic flow, dangerous intersections and roadways, the impact of weather conditions, and the planning of the infrastructure needed to charge electric vehicles, which are increasing in number. The trend shows that remote devices and the IoT will be even further integrated into the network of smart cities and will provide us with countless services because they are a key element in the urban planning of the future.

For all of these reasons, there is no doubt that connected vehicles are a huge improvement to our mobility, but they are much more than that: they are also going to transform our cities and our lives before we even realise it.

 
 
Edward Kulperger
ICD.D, Vice President Europe at Geotab