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Future of the automotive industry: IoT-enabled cars

Imagine a day when a driverless car is roaming on the road with happy and contented passengers enjoying the seamless integration of entertainment, music, road safety, live traffic information and updates, and connectivity to other vehicles. It sounds too good to be true, but soon this once seemingly unrealistic imagination of yesterday is going to be the trending fact of tomorrow.

In this era, when connectivity of people via digital and social media has proved to be a boon, who would not be amazed if their cars are connected to themselves as well as to its colleagues on the road? For a safe ride with no hassles of travel, like getting stuck for hours in traffic and arriving late to the office, users will get a health alert of the car before the chaos actually happens — motorists will be more than enthralled to incorporate this technical revolution in their vehicles.

Automotive giants across the globe are continuously striving to provide the above-mentioned amenities at affordable prices. An application like IoT in the automotive industry is going to have its own plan or course of action, a scheme to be implemented at consumer and commercial levels. But the basic attributes of these new ideas can be seen spreading their wings on the seven most eye-catching needs of consumers, which the automobile industry should bank on.

1. Safety at its best

Whenever a car embarks on a drive, the first wish travelers on board is safety. Connected cars using IoT technology will be intelligent enough to detect probable geographical spots of collision by amalgamating the mechanics of wireless mesh-networked cars and other technologies.

Rearview cameras and proximity sensors also aid in safe and judicious driving and parking. A composite technology comprising of crash avoidance, like forward-collision warning or lane-departure warning, combined with the necessary backing of communication and damage-control alerts will be vital in the worst-case scenario of a crash.

2. Crisis identification

How wonderful would it be if we could sense problems before they happen? Though life does not give such a provision, today’s IoT connectivity gives insights on vehicle health by initiating informative inputs before embarking on a road journey. Be it the exposure of the principal parts to wear-and-tear or the potential breakdown of a crucial component, sensors fitted in the most vital elements will indicate elementary parameters, like temperature and the position of the engine, well ahead of time to make the owner aware of potential issues that may arise. It is advantageous financially and practically to have a premonition of the events likely to occur so that they can be avoided.

3. Receptiveness and serviceability

In the unfortunate event of accidents, IoT-enabled cars with collision-recognizing abilities can act as senders of life-saving messages, using cellular networks to alert emergency medical aid services. Moreover, manufacturers can improve customer service by providing relevant apps that are best operated on smartphones. Drivers can get the updates and alerts, such as service due dates, the nearest fuel stations, updates on general maintenance of the vehicle and so forth.

Apart from end-user convenience, manufacturers can collect consumer data to improve manufacturing processes. This data, blended with dashboard tools, provides results like enhancing lifecycles, lowering the cost of maintenance, minimizing response times in case of an emergency and more.

4. Structuring traffic movement

By implementing IoT to monitor traffic control, movement on the roads can be modulated by getting live updates of traffic and area-wide congestion. Destination and in-transit parking spots can be monitored, thus making the driving experience less cumbersome in major cities.

5. Entertainment with information

The present-day technique of selling information with a hint of entertainment has taken shape in mid-sector and high-end vehicles by means of a third-party instrument, like a smartphone connected to a cellular network. Google, Apple and others are providing services by pairing with many known giants of the automotive industry.

Features like maps, music and more are played or operated via integration with an external device, but in the years to come, external connections will become extinct as vehicles offer their own seamless software that will stream in-vehicle packages.

6. Rising need to track

Tracking is a need of every individual, whether commercial or consumer end user. Knowing where vehicles and their contents are will be critical to track fleets and goods, recover stolen vehicles, track in parking lots, and even for parents to track speeding trends reckless teenage drivers.

GPS-equipped facilities can satiate vehicle safety needs, as well as regulations and legalities of traffic bodies of states, national highways and other major connecting roads. A self-driving car agency can locate its vehicle sitting in Delhi, even in the uneven and rugged terrains of the Leh Ladakh region, thus abiding to the regulations of over speeding. The plugging in and unplugging of such devices can also be reported.

7. Information and technical know-how

“Connected car” is a phrase that is selling like hotcakes nowadays. We have to understand that the concept is not based on a single parameter, but is an outcome of many technological factors entangled in each other. However, the basic idea is to connect a vehicle to everything possible. The modus operandi is based on two pillars: device to everything and device to device.

In device to device, vehicles are connected to vehicles, just like two friends chit-chatting in the workplace. Vehicles can also be connected to infrastructures, vehicles and pedestrians. Ensuring as much safety as possible can minimize the chances of head-on collisions through the synchronization of traffic signal and pedestrians timings.

Major players in the automotive industry will try to revolutionize the world with the aforementioned technologies, but it will take at least another two decades to completely back them up with necessary infrastructure and to gain end-user acceptance to assimilate the fact that one day driverless cars can really roam the roads.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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