IoT solutions have begun to develop extensively a little over 10 years ago, and immediately became firmly established in the automotive industry. It is projected to be more than 163 million active IoT connections in the vehicles by 2025. This makes the automotive market one of the most susceptible to IoT innovations. This trend is not surprising because the Internet of Things offers many advantages, especially in the automotive area. For instance, they can be used for improving navigation and making driving more comfortable and safe, while opening up new opportunities for supply chain companies. This article considers what it looks like in 2022.
What Are Automotive IoT Solutions? Who Benefits?
Generally, when we talk about automotive IoT solutions we imply connected vehicles first. Their major feature is having that connectivity to access the internet, and, therefore, an opportunity to send and receive data. With an onboard computer, vehicles can get software upgrades in relation to increasing the level of safety, fixing bugs, traffic, and maps improvements. Like other IoT devices, a connected car can interact with other devices that are connected to the Internet. To provide connectivity and increase comfort levels, it provides the passengers with WiFi connections.
Also, like the other IoT devices, a connected car can collect data that shows analytical potential for businesses. Data collected through automotive IoT solutions can be used in:
As one might guess, IoT products implemented in the car can be used not only inside to provide connectivity, but also to establish robust connections and exchange information between drivers, operators, clients, and other road users. Telematics improved through IoT solutions allows for tracking of the vehicle’s location in real-time, as well as controlling its speed & performance, gathering third-party data to improve navigation, collision prevention, and so on. It is possible to equip with sensors any spare part of the vehicle, which opens significant opportunities for monitoring vehicle status and driver behavior. As the cost of sensors and overall IoT products decreases over time, accompanied by a growing number of new players in the market, we’ll continue to see improved contributions to diversification.
How Does it Perform Technically?
To connect to the devices nearby, a connected vehicle utilizes the potential of wireless networks. As we mentioned, the main criterion here is the possibility to get access to the Internet. Usually, such vehicles connect to the internet via WLAN, to the cellular networks such as 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE, and use GPS to track their location. Top automotive companies actively invest in the development of the 5G making it the future of IoT in automotive. According to Gartner, automotive manufacturing is likely to be a major market for 5G IoT solutions, which would amount to 53 percent of the total 5G IoT endpoint market.
Another crucial point to consider is that of IoT sensors embedded in the vehicle. They are predominantly used to measure the status of the vehicle. In the event of some issues such as a low battery or engine deterioration, sensors send signals via the Internet to warn the driver or the operator about it. To receive the information to be processed and analyzed, cars are also equipped with cameras, which helps in parking and collision prevention.
There are several types of systems for connected cars:
Regardless of the type of the system, the IoT vehicles should be produced with considerable onboard computing power capable of supporting 3 main areas: telematics, environment connections, and infotainment.
Automotive IoT Solutions for Transportation Companies
When it comes to logistics, the potential of IoT solutions can be leveraged particularly effectively. Using IoT solutions, transportation companies can receive in real-time all the information about vehicle and cargo, driver health, and environmental conditions. Transportation companies can gain the following benefits from implementing IoT solutions:
- Effective fleet management. By equipping the vehicle with IoT sensors, it is easy to monitor fuel and oil levels, tire pressure, current location, driving style, and some other parameters to analyze its efficiency. By tracking vehicles in real-time, the company also gets more control of the transportation process as well as reduces risk to drivers. Additionally, having current information about the vehicle makes it much easier to comply with all safety and environmental regulations.
- Predictive maintenance. Collecting data from the vehicle using sensors helps to forecast possible breakdowns. For instance, when a piece of equipment begins to crack, and abnormal noises or vibrations start, it signals that a failure is likely to happen soon. By avoiding sudden breakdowns, companies can also avoid profit loss and reputational risks that follow. Incidentally, downtime usually costs about $450 to $750 for the vehicle per day at least. Predictive maintenance technology is closely linked with machine learning algorithms that can provide more accurate forecasts of vehicle failures over time.
- Optimal route planning. By having access to the Internet and connecting with other drivers or the road’s infrastructure, companies can get optimal directions avoiding accidents, traffic jams, unpleasant weather conditions, and slow speed modes. Real-time Internet access can provide fast connections between drivers, managers, and clients, as well as the possibility to correct the route immediately if an issue occurs.
- Actual cargo status. By equipping both cargo and vehicle with sensors, the company can monitor environmental conditions to control temperature, humidity, and other parameters to protect the cargo. It becomes easier to monitor fragile cargo to pick up appropriate conditions providing fall protection.
- Driver status monitoring. Utilizing IoT automotive solutions provides knowledge and insights into driving styles and can proactively identify aggressive driving patterns. If the driver makes sudden movements, sharply picks up or slows down, this can adversely affect both the condition of the car and the driver’s health. Sensors can also track inefficiencies in driving style, such as excessive idling, and send an immediate warning. If the driver is forced to work in hard conditions, such as long distances or unpleasant weather conditions, they can be provided with wearables to measure their health status in real-time.
Logistic and transportation companies that have implemented IoT solutions are more attractive to the clients because of the higher transparency. The company can provide their clients with limited access to the system to see all the processes by themselves and get notifications if something goes wrong.
Automotive IoT Solutions for End-Users
According to McKinsey, back in 2014, 65 percent of car buyers under 35 considered connectivity as an important factor when choosing a car. This segment also calls entertainment a major function in the car. Now the purchasing power of millennials has grown, and, accordingly, the role of connected cars has increased even more. In 2020 alone, for instance, more than 13 million connected cars were sold, accounting for more than 91 percent of all cars sold. The largest players in the automotive market are investing heavily in connected vehicles.
It’s no wonder since such cars offer the driver plenty of services and apps connected with their smartphones. The connected car can improve the following functions for the driver:
- diagnostics and efficiency
We identified entertainment as a major function because this is what the millennial buyers say. Another important feature is the possibility of controlling the car on distance. It regards some features like the remote parking in narrow spaces, closing and opening the doors, engine start and stop, climate control, and some others. Due to quick communication with the car, the driver’s response time and reactions are also reduced. In the event of car theft, it would be easy to find thanks to real-time location monitoring. A connected car equipped with various sensors to track possible issues can send a message directly to the driver when it’s time to visit the service station. It also becomes much more convenient to pay road tolls in connected vehicles.
The connected vehicle uses the local environment and communicates with cloud-based platforms. These types of cars can connect to:
- Infrastructure. In this system, the driver gets information from the infrastructure objects, such as traffic lights, street signs, lane markers, parking, school zones, and crossings via wireless connections. This data allows getting the optimal route, allowing traffic jams, bad weather conditions, speed limits, accidents, and so on.
- Another vehicle. Sharing information with other drivers allows them to get more detailed data about the traffic. All the road users connected to the Internet can “talk” the important data to each other making driving safer. This is especially valuable for self-driving cars.
- Cloud. Cloud offers nice opportunities to store a large amount of data for further analysis. It helps the car to get updates, identify issues and connect with any Internet of Things device.
- Pedestrians. Embedded sensors can also help the driver detect pedestrians and cyclists on the road. This improved safety system allows it to prevent traffic accidents.
When the connected car combines all the previous types of connectivity, it is called Vehicle to Everything connectivity, or V2X. It is in the development of this direction that most large companies are currently investing.
Automotive IoT solutions for the Manufacturing Process
The major factor for vehicle manufacturers is knowing more about their exploitation, vehicle health, service life driving behavior, EV charging patterns, and strong and weak sides to improve them. Connected vehicles can also send all this information to the manufacturing company and can be used for analyzing user experience. It is provided through the combination of such technologies as IoT sensors, Big Data, and cloud computing. With information about vehicle usage patterns, companies can develop a more informed business strategy that can help increase sales. Thus, it is possible to consider the user issues at the design stage. This helps companies increase performance and reduce unnecessary costs while developing automotive production.
Companies can use Industrial IoT solutions at any stage of manufacturing processes, transforming the factory into Factory 4.0. By optimizing the production process within the company, the company can save money and offer more affordable products.
Connected devices continue to change the way we live and there is no turning back. By updating connectivity standards, creating new ways of communication, and equipping entire cities with sensors, the automotive industry is developing as well. Automotive IoT solutions have benefits for various sectors:
- Car owners use connected cars for increasing the level of comfort and safety.
- Logistics companies utilize IoT solutions to maintain full information into vehicle status and provide safety of the cargo, as well as increase customers’ trust.
- Automotive manufacturers can know more about their vehicles to create more informed business strategies.