IoT is rapidly changing the way we live, and this is particularly true of the automobile industry where some of the more groundbreaking automotive IoT solutions are being developed and implemented.
The integration of vehicles and IoT has unlocked exciting opportunities for both automakers and consumers worldwide. From connected vehicles to automated driving systems, the applications of IoT in the automotive industry have significantly transformed the sector, leaving a lasting impact.
With more than 400 million smart vehicles expected in 2025, here are five of the biggest ways IoT is used within the automotive industry.
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The implementation of IoT in automotive sector has brought in a huge development in the field of fleet management. Whether its real-time location monitoring of a fleet of rental cars, to tracking fuel efficiency on trucks, data can be easily collected and analyzed to monitor and optimize different parameters.
According to the 2022 Ericsson mobility report, data from connected buses successfully reduced fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent while also improving driver and passenger safety.
In addition to this, an IoT infused fleet management system can also prevent losses and theft of assets. In 2020, there were 810,400 vehicles reported stolen in the United States with losses estimated at $7.4 billion. While in the same year, there were 505,100 car thefts in the EU.
Cars are connected over an IoT network called CV2X, linking vehicles and smart transport systems with each other. Connected vehicles can transmit between 20 to 200 megabytes of data per day, which is used to improve user experience.
Based on the vehicle’s connection, CV2X (3GPP standard for V2X applications) consists of several categories but here are the most prominent use cases:
- Vehicle to vehicle (V2V): V2V connection allows vehicles in a proximate range (approximately 300 meters) to share data with each other. Using V2V, vehicles communicate up to 10 times per second with information such as speed and directions. V2V can warn drivers about collisions ahead, lane departures, road conditions and more.
- Vehicle to infrastructure (V2I): This connection refers to the one between vehicles and road infrastructures. The infrastructure generally consists of traffic lights, smart parking systems, road sensors, and tolls. V2I generally facilitates smooth traffic flow to avoid traffic congestion, allowing drivers to choose alternate routes to their destinations.
- Vehicle to network (V2N): V2N systems connect vehicles to cellular infrastructure and the cloud. Some of the most common uses of V2N systems are vehicles with built-in functions like Waze, or sync with an Android smartphone for calls, music and navigation.
Automotive maintenance system
Predictive analytics is one of the most innovative features of automotive IoT solutions in the industry. Sensors embedded in different components of a car collect and process data that can analyze the future outcomes of components based on its usage and performance.
A predictive maintenance system also helps drivers take necessary steps to prevent a sudden breakdown by alerting the driver about probable malfunctions. For an everyday commuter, an unexpected breakdown might just be a massive inconvenience. But for truckers and delivery services, an out of service vehicle is costly for a business.
This helps the driver to make cost-effective and time-saving steps to avoid component failure while driving. A McKinsey study highlighted that predictive maintenance reduces maintenance costs by a whopping 18-25%.
Semi-autonomous vehicles have been assisting drivers with parking and driving (e.g., lane changing activities, speed limit indicators). They can also take minor decisions by partially controlling the vehicle operations to reduce human error and make driving safer for all road users.
The next iteration of connected vehicles will be even more autonomous, with fully autonomous cars currently making waves amongst automobile makers (e.g., Tesla, Ford, Toyota). With promises to make more efficient, safer and environmentally friendly transport solutions.
For example, the Australia government is looking to accelerate the integration of automated freight vehicles in logistics. Trucks equipped with advanced sensors, connectivity, and AI will play a pivotal role in reducing congestion, emissions, and optimizing the overall flow of goods.
Insurance and vehicle recovery
Vehicular telematics is vital in all the above automotive IoT solutions and more. For example, a car owner can keep an eye out on their vehicle even from remote locations. A real-time alert system can alarm owners if the vehicle is entered without proper access and alert authorities immediately to recover the vehicle.
Increasingly so, insurance companies are issuing cellular IoT connected on-board diagnosis modules to drivers, which track and report driving behavior and associated data. Customers benefit from more personalized offers and greater premium cost transparency, while insurers benefit through improved risk profiling and customer service. Insurers can also better access claims and reduce opportunities for insurance fraud.
Cellular IoT along with other disruptive technologies is revolutionizing the automotive industry. The evolution in this field has brought about groundbreaking developments in car inspection, predictive maintenance capabilities and new insurance models. Vehicular telematics with long-range data transmission is also powering real-time, remote fleet management systems.
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