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Automotive IoT use cases brought on by the connected car

The connected car changes everything

Of all the domains IoT has impacted, the automotive industry, with its connected car, seems to be creating the most interest from both enterprises and consumers. Cars are changing at an incredible rate, and industry leaders, government authorities and prospective buyers are all responding. In fact, just yesterday the German Bundesrat passed a resolution to ban the sales of all combustion engine vehicles in the European Union by 2030 to create zero-emissions roads, according to Ars Technica. But the entire experience of driving is changing alongside the way cars are being powered. New IoT-enabled developments are turning the car into an safer, more comfortable connected environment for getting around. Let’s take a look some of the many ways IoT connectivity is transforming the automobile.

(Semi)-autonomous vehicle

We will start with the elephant in the room, autonomous driving. Fully autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, are not currently available on the market, and they won’t be for a long time, according to Automotive News. But semi-autonomous vehicles do already exist, and the lives being saved are in large part thanks to IoT. Features like front collision warning, brake assist, blind spot monitors, self-parking and remote parking are all creations coming out of the increasing use of integrated cameras, proximity sensors, adaptive headlights sensors and other connectivity components that define the internet of things. These features are in place to get rid of human error, and make driving more convenience and much safer.

4G Wi-Fi Hotspots

Cars will need to provide drivers with a reliable, high-speed mobile network if they are to fuel our own constantly connected demands. 4G LTE connectivity, offered on a subscription basis, is gaining popularity. In the past two years, more than 2 million Chevrolet cars with 4G LTE data connections have been sold, and, according to GM, those connections have chewed through 3 million gigabytes of data, according to Tech Crunch. Connected cars will be expected to become more and more connection spots for passengers through a shared usage of their M2M card.

Intelligent infotainment

Car manufacturers are using that mobile connectivity to create intelligent infotainment systems. Most infotainment systems are currently in a strange period when users can choose between manufacture-made infotainment applications (BMW iDrive, MyFord Touch, etc) or third-party apps created by mobile operating system giants Google (Android Auto) and Apple (CarPlay).

Cars are nowadays expected to provide information and entertainment streaming preferred music or radio stations, offering intelligent on-board navigation and contextual information of points of interest such as the nearest gas station when the car is running low on fuel or nearby restaurants if it is lunchtime.

Telematics and eCalls

Last year, the European Parliament voted in favor of eCall regulation which requires all new cars be equipped with eCall technology from April 2018. In the event of a serious accident, eCall automatically dials 112 – Europe’s single emergency number, and sends the appropriate authorities to the scene. According to the EU, eCall cuts emergency services response time down to 50% in the countryside and 60% in built-up areas. The quicker response will save hundreds of lives in the EU every year. U.S. car manufacturers offer their own flavor of eCall technology, with GM’s OnStar and Ford’s Sync.

Car maintenance

No more getting down on your hands and knees to check all four tires with an air pressure gauge when your flat tire light turns on. Connected cars have dashboard visualizations showing the condition of just about every part of the vehicle, from tire pressure to when a door is left open. These use a combination of sensors and RF technology to keep drivers informed so they can make appropriate repairs when needed. It can even tell a driver how efficiency he or she is driving by showing average mpg in different environments.

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