How Is IoT Improving Transportation?

Megan Nichols
Illustration: © IoT For All

The transportation sector is always evolving to offer safer, faster, cleaner and more comfortable commutes. The next significant industry shift is at hand, and IoT is leading the charge. The potential of IoT is spurring a wave of smart vehicles and connected infrastructure.

The global smart transportation market could reach $262 billion by 2025, thanks to the value of IoT in vehicles. However, the benefits don’t end at financial success for car manufacturers. It’s improving nearly every aspect of the industry.

Assisted Driving

One of the most promising features of IoT in transportation is its potential for safety. Smart transportation using IoT would consist of cars that communicate with one another. This would improve assisted driving features, keeping drivers safe.

With IoT-fueled communication, vehicles would have real-time data on where everything else on the road is. This information would then enable cars to brake or turn when necessary to avoid a collision. Assisted driving features are already present in many vehicles, but IoT’s interconnectivity would make them more accurate.

This connectivity is also the key to driverless cars. If a vehicle can connect to other cars and infrastructure around it, it could navigate more effectively. Without IoT, safe and reliable self-driving cars wouldn’t be possible.

Dynamic Navigation

The improved navigation offered by IoT is useful to human drivers, too. Many people rely on GPS navigation, and IoT devices in vehicles could make these systems more helpful. Cross-car communication would allow navigation systems to account for real-time changes, like blockages or traffic jams.

GPS systems can be slow to adapt to traffic changes, but IoT navigation offers real-time feedback. Hazards along a route can change in an instant, so drivers need dynamic navigation to avoid them. This application helps people get to work quicker and improves safety.

Fluid navigation is especially helpful to services like environmental waste transport. Traffic accidents are a leading cause of spillage, so these drivers need to avoid risky traffic situations. IoT navigation can help them steer clear of congested areas or spots with high accident rates.

Optimized Maintenance

Have you ever had your oil changed and come back with a lengthy repair bill? If so, you know the importance of frequent vehicle maintenance. Many drivers don’t know when they should get a car checkup or what to look for, and IoT can help with that.

IoT-based predictive maintenance improves traditional approaches by highlighting immediate repair needs. IoT devices in cars could measure the performance of different parts of the vehicle. It could then alert the driver when something needs attention.

This immediate feedback lets drivers make repairs before more significant breakages occur. With the data from these devices, car manufacturers could also see if there are any common issues in their vehicles. They could then use this information to create more reliable cars in the future.

Expanded Ridesharing

Ridesharing is one of the most disruptive changes the transportation sector has undergone in recent years. With increased IoT use in transportation, it could grow even further. IoT makes ridesharing safer and more convenient for both the company and the passengers.

Functional ridesharing relies on IoT. The system wouldn’t work very well if passengers couldn’t see the location of their ride on the app. However, as ridesharing includes items like scooters and bicycles, companies need built-in IoT devices, not just phones.

A broader IoT network means better vehicle tracking for passengers and providers alike. Improved IoT devices also bring the benefit of monitoring factors like fuel levels and performance. With this data, companies could ensure passengers always get vehicles at their peak performance levels.

Fleet Management

Widespread IoT integration in transportation is particularly valuable to fleet owners. Any company that owns or operates a fleet needs to know where vehicles are and how they’re running. IoT devices provide a solution to this need.

The most obvious application for IoT in fleet management is vehicle tracking. With smart transportation, managers could see where their trucks are in real-time. These devices can track and report more than just locations, though.

IoT devices offer advantages like weather analytics to help drivers account for potential disruptions. Fuel economy tracking would help fleet managers monitor routine expenses like gas and repairs. These features help businesses save money and offer faster deliveries to customers.

Implementing IoT in Transportation

These transport IoT Applications may seem like wishful thinking, but these are more than just ideas of what could happen. If you pay attention, you’ll notice these changes are already starting to take place.

Smart transportation, the result of IoT in vehicles, is already growing at a staggering rate. The connected car market grew by 45% between 2018 and 2019 alone, with global shipments expected to pass 76 million units by 2023. Car companies are aware of all IoT has to offer, and they’re capitalizing on it right now.

It’s not a stretch to say that IoT will thoroughly disrupt transportation in the coming decade. It won’t be too long before connected cars are the norm. When this shift does happen, roads will be a safer and more convenient place for everyone.

Megan Nichols
Megan Nichols
Megan Ray Nichols is a technical writer and blogger. Her work has been published on sites like Icons of Infrastructure, Industry Week, and Read Write. Keep up with Megan by subscribing to her e...
Megan Ray Nichols is a technical writer and blogger. Her work has been published on sites like Icons of Infrastructure, Industry Week, and Read Write. Keep up with Megan by subscribing to her e...