Automotive

7 Industries Transformed by Connected Car Technology

Over the last decade, the conversation about automotive technology has taken a 180 degree turn. We are no longer talking so much about how technology will transform the automotive industry, but, rather, how connected cars will transform other industries. Cloud-based platforms, IoT, and big data set the foundation for how we will use our automobiles. Soon, connected cars will change how we use everything else.

The impact of connected and autonomous vehicles on other areas of our lives cannot be overestimated. According to Garner, production of IoT-infused vehicles will reach 61 million per year by 2020. Compared to current production numbers, this represents a growth rate that is 10-times that of the conventional automotive industry. But the real story lies not in how many connected vehicles will be on the road, but in how they will change the world around them.

Forward-thinking industries are already seeking ways to engage the connected driving public, and the connected car industry is meeting them more than half way. In this article, we will look at seven industries that are changing the way they do business because of connected car, or that soon will be.

1. Parking

If there is one thing every driver can agree on, it is that we all hate parking. Whether we find ourselves parallel parking along the curb, in a parking lot, or in a parking garage, finding a space when and where we need it can be more stressful than negotiating rush hour traffic. Fortunately, connected car technology offers a solution: smart parking.

Bosch is paving the way toward “connected mobility” by delivering cutting edge smart parking technology. The Bosch product line exemplifies the smart parking concept perfectly by providing solutions for connected communities and for connected drivers.

Here’s a few examples of how smart parking technology works, as demonstrated by Bosch:

  • Community-based parking systems that use IoT sensors to monitor and manage parking within a specified area.
  • Automated parking payment and subscription systems.
  • Real-time alerts that inform drivers of available parking.
  • Automated valet parking systems.
  • Parking assist systems that automatically park autonomous vehicles.

As traffic volume continues to grow, smart parking will become more of a necessity than a convenience.

2. Civil Engineering

The connected cars of tomorrow — and we do mean tomorrow, not next year — will need connected roads to travel upon and connected traffic control systems to help guide them. Making the road easier for connected vehicles is a responsibility to be shared by city planners and civil engineers. Fortunately, efforts are already underway to build

Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. C-ITS systems enable connected vehicles to communicate with each other, with traffic control systems, and with roadside infrastructure. Here is why they are crucial to the growth of the connected car ecosystem:

  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X), and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications will form a symbiotic relationship between cars and city traffic systems. The result will be more efficient use of public thoroughfares, reduced travel time, improved vehicle safety, reduced fuel consumption, and less environmental impact.
  • With connected traffic systems that monitor and analyze traffic patterns, engineers and city planners can better plan for improvements to the city transportation infrastructure.
  • Intelligent, connected cities will better accommodate the fully-autonomous vehicles that are certain to be on the road, sooner or later.
  • Connected cars can receive direct messages concerning road construction, with GPS automatically providing an alternate route.

Connected and autonomous vehicles are soon to invade our towns and cities. The sooner municipal infrastructures can communicate with them, the sooner the ride will be a smooth one for all concerned.

3. Emergency Services

Police, fire, and emergency medical services need three things in order to respond to emergencies effectively: information about the nature of the emergency, the exact location of the emergency, and a clear path to get to the location of the emergency. Connected car technology provides all three.

Here are a few of the ways automotive IoT will inevitably help emergency services to help those in need faster and more more effectively:

  • In-car notification of approaching emergency vehicles, even before lights and sirens are detected.
  • Automatic notifications of auto accidents to emergency services—along with exact location and number of persons in the vehicle. EU legislation requiring all new vehicles to be equipped with eCall by April of 2018 is a step toward making such features mandatory.
  • As more autonomous vehicles reach the road, we can expect to see them automatically pulling to the side of the road as emergency vehicles approach.
  • Police will eventually have the ability to disable the vehicles of fleeing suspects, preventing dangerous high-speed chases.

If our cars are going to talk with other “things,” there is, perhaps, no better conversation they can have than with emergency services.

4. Taxi Services

To understand the absolute total disruption connected car poses to the taxi industry, all you need to do is look at Uber. Despite some questionable practices and some bad press, the company’s attempts to create driverless taxis is a foreshadowing of what is to come. To be sure, there will be successes and failures as prototypes from various companies port their human cargo autonomously from one place to another. Also certain is the likelihood that driverless vehicles will be outlawed in some localities around the world, before acceptance occurs. But that does not change the fact that driverless taxis are on the way. Because they are.

Despite the obvious problem of leaving an entire industry of drivers unemployed, driverless taxis offer some advantages that are worth pursuing:

  • Once autonomous technology is perfected, the elimination of human error will result in fewer accidents, rather than more of them.
  • Since autonomous cars can process data faster than human drivers, autonomous taxis will respond more effectively to traffic obstructions and changing traffic patterns.
  • Autonomous taxis will make pickups based on requests sent by mobile apps, resulting in an automated and efficient dispatch system.

The challenge to autonomous taxi services is that most governments require a human driver to be in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, even when operating in a fully-autonomous mode. As self-driving car technology rapidly overcomes the remaining challenges facing it, legislation will predictably change to accommodate growth of the autonomous car industry, rather than stifling it, and hailing a taxi will be as easy as a click on your cell phone.

5. Marketing

Successful marketing depends on one thing — predicting consumer behavior. Thanks to the marriage between connected car and big data, marketeers will soon be able to observe purchasing patterns and lifestyle habits at a level of detail that, till recently, they only dreamed of.

As more connected vehicles hit the road, the driving public will spend increasingly more time in their vehicles. Advanced telematics will enable us to perform more tasks while driving, reducing the time we must spend at home in front of the computer. What this means for advertisers is an audience that is captive, accessible, and increasingly predictable. Any two of these would leave the average salesperson licking their chops, so you had better believe the marketing industry has connected car dead in its sites.

How will the growth of the connected vehicle market change the way advertisers and marketing companies get their message across? The possibilities extend too far over the horizon to know for sure, but even our myopic vision reveals this much: GPS, stored trip histories, and information mined from big data will enable companies to deliver the right message to the right consumer in the right place at the right time to get their attention.

Here are a few examples of how it will all come together:

  • Retailers will have the ability to detect repeat customers in their vicinity, allowing them to send timely, targeted ads to them via their vehicle infotainment system.
  • Roadside billboards will display advertisements based on consensus analysis of approaching traffic.
  • With entertainment companies such as Pandora offering personalized playlists through connected car infotainment systems, it is only a matter of time till those playlists come with personalized advertising.

As the connected car industry expands, targeting consumers based on their physical location and purchasing habits will become the de facto strategy for any advertisers worth their weight.

6. Mobile App Development

If there is one business sector delighted to be impacted by autonomous car technology it is the mobile app industry. With a new and untapped market of millions of vehicles, many mobile app developers are seizing the opportunity to build the apps that will connect vehicles to the world around them.

Connected car apps not only reside on the user’s cell phone, they will increasingly reside aboard vehicles’ telematics and infotainment systems. Mobile app development for the connected car industry will, generally, fall into the following three categories:

  • Telematic apps, which interact with vehicle control systems.
  • Infomatic apps, which provide entertainment and information not typically related to the vehicle OEM systems.
  • V2X apps, which interact with external IoT devices and networks that make up the connected car ecosystem.

The opportunity to shape the very future of the automobile lies square in the hands of those who will write its apps.

7. Cellular Industry

As more and more connected cars roll off the showroom floor, cellular companies are looking for ways to become relevant in the connected car marketplace. Two giants, AT&T and Verizon, are each taking a different road, but neither intends to be left behind.

AT&T is partnering with many of the world’s largest automakers to provide OEM WiFi and Internet connectivity. They also offer connected car data plans as part of their cell phone carrier packages.

As further indication AT&T’s commitment to be part of the connected car ecosystem, they recently joined the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), which fosters development of connected car technology across a wide swath of industries and involving a great number of tech partners.

Verizon, on the other hand, seems less focused on partnerships and more concerned with pitching its own informatics OBD II application, known as Hum, and in providing connected fleet management services. They, too, have connected car data plans.

Here are a few changes to look for as cellular carriers reinvent themselves for the IoT revolution:

  • Connected car data plans.
  • A transition from “cell phone carriers” to “data carriers”.
  • A rush toward 5G and 6G networks in order to compete with other technologies.

While it is too early to say who will take the driver’s seat in connected car networking, you can be assured the cellular phone industry will become and will remain relevant players.

How Ignite Can Help

The connected car industry is poised for absolutely explosive growth in the years to come — and there is no stopping it. The only question is, are you here to help drive, or are you content to ride in the back seat?

Ignite provides technology solutions to companies around the world. We are experts in automotive technology, and well-positioned to turn you your connected car product from a concept into a marketable reality.

Why not contact us today for a no-cost consultation?

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