How the Internet of Things (IoT) Impacts the Automotive Industry
By Josh Wardini
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a new wave of technology that is expected to transform our lives in a tremendous way. Until recently, the Internet has been connecting people, but now, it’s connecting ‘Things’ and creating an ecosystem where cyber and physical world have become one. Not so long ago, the idea of implementing IoT in the automotive industry was perceived as a futuristic concept, and today we are already witnessing possibilities of driverless cars, connected cars, in the automotive industry covering environment, parking, and supply chain. In this article, we’ll discuss the evolution of the IoT with regards to the auto industry to provide a perspective on various areas such as vehicle communication, connected car services, and so on.
Connected Car Ecosystem
IoT is a disruptive technology that has a significant impact on the automotive industry. Telecommunication service providers, automobile manufacturing companies, and software companies have all teamed up to create a connected car. A connected car is not just a vehicle that provides the ability to surf the Internet on the move, but much more than that — it’s a vehicle that can to communicate with the vehicles and devices, via sensors and internet connectivity. Nowadays, only a handful of internet-enabled vehicles have been manufactured, but it’s predicted that the number will rise considerably in the upcoming years. And seeing the lifestyle trends of today and how much today’s generation have gotten accustomed to using smartphones will definitely help the connected auto industry to grow exponentially.
Infotainment, also known as soft news, is a type of media that combines educational information and entertaining content. When implemented in vehicles, this system would deliver a combination of information and entertainment content. The most notable features of an In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) system are — managing audio/visual entertainment content, delivering connectivity with smart phones via voice commands, and providing navigation features while driving. However, infotainment options like menus and apps need to be organized in a way so it doesn’t distract drivers n the road. Also, voice and audio commands need to be a primary form of communication between the users and the devices. With the rapid growth of Cloud technologies and smart phones, increased demand for live streaming of music and Internet radio has emerged. Some of the examples of smartphone apps integration software units are Google Projected Mode, Car Play, and Mirror Link.
Safety — Real-Time Driver Monitor
In order to encourage safe and efficient driving, drivers’ driving habits will be evaluated by real-time driver monitoring systems. Advanced sensor-based technologies are able to detect the driver’s behaviour on the road and his/her fatigue levels, which makes the vehicles more intelligent and more prepared to prevent accidents on roads. Sophisticated systems are being developed for real-time monitoring of vehicles, and these systems will control the fatigue level of the driver and adjust the speed of the vehicle accordingly. This system would be built from microcontrollers along with some sensors like gas, impact sensors, eye blink, fuel sensors, and alcohol detecting.
Traffic jams caused by vehicles is a disturbing problem, and it’s only going to increase day by day with the increasing production and use of vehicles. One of the main reasons for this problem is the lack of sufficient parking space along with the increase in luxury cars. Smart parking will maximize the use of parking space, which will allow for efficient parking and smoother traffic flow. This state-of-the-art system can be implemented with the help of microcontrollers, real-time data about available parking space, sensors, and automated parking payment service. Such a system would allow the drivers to reserve a parking space before they even reach the parking lot, thereby saving a lot of time and energy. This also helps to reduce air pollution and managing traffic jam problems.
We’ve only scratched the surface of IoT use cases in the automotive industry. As cars get smarter and connected with other cars, devices, and things, suitable analytical processing will be applied, allowing drivers as well as road safety authorities to get a better insight about the vehicle’s performance as well as the overall traffic situation, which will allow for timely action.
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