The phenomenon of Internet of Things (IoT) is still considered a trigger for the next digital revolution however it is already here and changing lives. It is expected that by 2020 there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices in use. Especially, in the automotive industry, it has helped evolve vehicles driven by humans to self-driven vehicles.
IoT has improved management capabilities and is leading us to a future of intelligent, autonomous vehicles. A tremendous solution like GPS has helped in assisting us with locations or collecting large chunks of data from our devices.
However, in this era, a lot of time and energy was channelized in manually processing data for understanding the efficiency and proper functioning of the critical components of automobiles and monitor the wear and tear to drive new alloys for endurance.
The next use case for analytics kicked off when automobile giants started paying attention to consumer desires to have it all– the economy of mass production, design options to fit an individual’s taste and needs, and the highest possible quality. The need to offer a greater variety of product models within the limits of mass production gave rise to multiple quality assurance methods to produce standard and exchangeable parts to reduce manufacturing costs. This in turn sparked the demand for design reengineering and establishing better understanding of efficiency and power of the vehicles using data.
The next big move in use of analytics came with the use of analog sensors in cars. In 1950’s, basic sensors for low oil pressure warning lights and charging system warning lights on the instrument panel existed. However, there were no computers during that time to monitor specific conditions of the car. It was only in the early 1970’s that we see examples of electronic fuel control using sensors developed by Bosch and used on brands like Mercedes Benz, VW, Porsche, and Datsun. Electronically controlled systems using sensors became more popular in the late 70’s and early 80’s in response to U.S. EPA emissions standards requiring the use of catalytic convertors. Many computer controlled automotive systems used sensors primarily to improve fuel control to and to reduce tailpipe emissions.
Today, sensors are majorly used to monitor everything from raindrops on the windshield to cautioning us when it’s due for an oil change. The data garnered from automobiles are sensor-based techniques to record and analyse performance of critical automobile systems, or satellite-based techniques such as tracking vehicle position and recording external circumstances. Even the data collection techniques for automobiles have improved over the years by using current technology tools like mobile devices, wearables, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud and Social Media. The prime focus of these collection techniques is to enhance customer experience and achieve better vehicle health.
Today, IoT communications is helping automotive OEMs better understand their vehicle’s performance and driving behaviour. The technology has made easy for the OEMs to understand the relation between Man and the Machine with a lot more sophistication. It has also enabled OEMs to develop and evolve relationships by having informed conversations with their customers, dealers, suppliers and deliver new, innovative value-added services, such as, infotainment, user-based insurance and even financing. Even fleet operators, including companies that offer taxi services such as the Uber and Ola, on-demand services like Zipcar, car rental companies like Hertz, and even the commercial enterprises such as the FedEx are getting more connected cars because telematics data can help improve safety, keep assets well-maintained, avoid accidents, improve route-planning, and optimize supply chain logistics, among many other benefits. As per a research by Accenture, the total business value of connected car services will reach $123 billion by 2020, rising to $618 billion by 2025. A single connected car could deliver as much as $6,188 over its lifetime.
While early adopters are clearly keen to realise the financial advantages, safer drivers and safer roads are also the key driver of IoT technology. Some analysts predict that the automotive sector will generate up to $199 billion in revenue in 2020 as a result of M2M technology, with the highest growth rates expected in Asia Pacific. By this time the automotive M2M market is expected to grow to almost 1.3 billion connections, driven predominantly by the need for manufacturers to fit new cars with emergency assistance devices. However, beyond emergency assistance, the data the cars generate can provide a wide range of anonymised traffic information that helps public services better understand motorway networks. Vehicle suspension data collected from cars can also help authorities detect faults in the road before they develop into potholes.
However, one of the major concernis cybersecurity. It dominates the autonomous car industry and must be addressed as part of OEM efforts to shift their business model. Ransomware in 2017 caused serious service outages for several OEMs,
In the nutshell, the adoption of IoT by the automotive industry is only likely to accelerate with increasing regulatory demands, the opportunity to drive up revenues whilst driving down costs, and the growing customer expectations to be offered the very latest entertainment and support services become more predominant. And without doubt, the automobile sector was and will always remain the most loyal consumer of IoT.
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