The Internet of Things is making its way to becoming a part of our daily lifestyle. It consists of devices connected over a network, that is slowly changing the way we live. According to Statista, the number of IoT connected devices is more than 26 billion and it’s projected to grow to over 75 billion in 2025. Furthermore, there are 127 new IoT devices connected to the internet every second.
Many industries have started to make use of that. Consumers of IoT devices are able to control air temperature or measure health indicators, for instance, with just a couple of clicks. When it comes to automotive technology, it’s definitely not left behind.
In the automotive industry, IoT enables efficiency on a whole new level, as well as capability management. It brings us one step closer to the future of smart, autonomous vehicles. The introduction of 5G leaves a field for faster data transfers and response times, as well as enhanced vehicular communication.
The need for maximizing productivity and saving time in this fast-paced era will increase the usage of IoT devices. As for automotive, Internet of Things applications opens up entirely new opportunities. It has already been used in a number of areas within the automotive industry.
Here we’re going to give a few examples of such applications of IoT in automotive software development.
Connected Cars and C-V2X
We’ve been hearing of connected cars for quite some time now. In fact, General Motors’ OnStar released back in 1996, provided connected communication subscription services. This actually saved lives as it allowed GPS tracking and in-vehicle communication.
However, today connected cars are more than just about location tracking. The C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) standard, established by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, supports the future of connected cars and allows backward compatibility. C-V2X has two models of operation:
It supports vehicle-to-network communications via cellular networks. This allows cloud services to be also included in these solutions, also real-time traffic responding and routing. This connection allows vehicles themselves to support data streaming capabilities;
This supports communications like vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-pedestrian, and vehicle-to-infrastructure. They open up more than just connected cars. These communications actually make connected roadways, through innovations like traffic signal priority or collision avoidance for instance.
Smart apps are being implemented in automotive technology to provide navigation, telematics or entertainment. Google, for example, now works with several automotive software developers to integrate its apps such as Play Store or Google Maps into vehicle infotainment systems. Some mid and high-end cars now offer Apple’s CarPlay as well.
Many of the infotainment systems offered now require a connection to an external device, such as a smartphone, for internet connectivity. In the near future, automotive technology will develop vehicles with software and connectivity features embedded into their infotainment system. This will give drivers the ability to access maps and many more Internet-connected services on the go.
Today vehicle auctions and dealerships usually have large properties with thousands of vehicles on site. This is a reason why they often struggle to manage the inventory efficiently, in real-time.
One of the rising IoT trends is exactly inventory solutions supported by the Internet of Things. GPS trackers, which communicate with the local low-power wide-area network, give dealerships the ability to track each of their vehicles. That way salespeople can easily find the best vehicle for a customer. Tracking provides IoT managers with a more holistic and more granular view of their inventory.
On the other hand for the consumer, there could be many reasons they might need to know the exact location of their car. To easily find it in a massive parking lot for example, or to find out if it was stolen.
Automotive software developers are working on consumer-level tracking solutions. Soon car owners will be able to set limits and view a map that shows the vehicle’s location. If the set speed limit or geographical boundaries are exceeded, you’ll be notified on your smartphone.
The implemented sensors in the operational components of vehicles monitor their functional metrics like engine status, temperature, electrical systems, speed, and navigation. This also forecasts performance benchmarks.
The gathered information is used to update vehicle owners with preventative and predictive maintenance alerts. This helps them to address issues before they even arise.
Safety and Security
External sensors, such as rear-view cameras and proximity sensors, take care of blind-spot detection and not only assist in easier parking, but also in safer driving. The advanced sensors protect drivers way more. They can monitor surrounding traffic patterns, as well as the environment to ensure safe driving.
With the use of the new connected roadways, vehicles onboard systems are able to predict and avoid collisions for in advance of actual occurrences.
Internet of Things allows real-time data sharing from vehicles to manufacturers. This could help with the improvement of maintenance and manufacturing processes throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.
The real-time monitoring also helps for enhancing predictive insights, which allows faster response times in case of any serious issue. It makes manufacturers way more proactive in case of emergency.
These are just a few of the many applications of IoT in the automotive industry. With the new vehicles, being also IoT devices drivers can connect to the network and data platform to receive automotive software updates, feature updates, bug fixes, traffic updates, and improved safety.
Wi-Fi connected vehicles are not a dream anymore. Furthermore, they’re enough to get connected to road infrastructure, which would make the drive smooth and safe. The IoT reality is closer than you might think and soon it’s going to be everywhere around us.