Re-Think Tomorrow's Car: The Convergence of Automotive and IoT

By Mahbubul Alam, CTO and CMO, Movimento Group

Mahbubul Alam, CTO and CMO, Movimento Group

We are increasingly witnessing an IoT-driven change across industries. Industries such as those in transportation, retail, oil and gas manufacturing and healthcare will see enormous benefits. For instance, supply chain will soon have provision to track automobile parts and materials real-time. This is bound to reduce work capital requirements and avoid disruptions in manufacturing. Likewise, the healthcare sector will be able to remotely monitor its staff and patients. The oil and gas industry, through smart components, will see reduced operations cost and fuel consumption. Companies in manufacturing industry will see speedy responses to demands, using smart sensors and various digital control systems. Cities and society will also see a lot of societal and environmental benefits, where pollution and traffic will be reduced considerably. As we shift our focus to the automotive industry we can’t fail to notice the way IoT is engulfing the space. However, the industry remains low-profile and calls for rapid transformation as compared to other industries.

“Shared driverless cars are the future though they may sound like a thing of science fiction today”

Also, the automotive industry aims to eliminate possible and probable fatalities and accidents using technologies that make autonomous driving a reality. Today, cars are no more mere machines that drive users from point A to point B. Cars are expected to be as functional as homes and workplaces if not more. Users are demanding easy access to data and services that they have on their phone, in their cars.

Mahbubul Alam, CTO, Movimento predicts that ‘The vehicle of tomorrow will be a computer on wheels internally connected through a deterministic network’ where the software features will determine the car's behavior on the roads and the vehicle will work for you.

At the end, from the user’s point of view, it is all about delivering value as we enhance the in-car experience. Heartening news is that the auto industry is already rapidly transforming, and the driving force is the amalgamation of technologies known as the IoT.

Convergence with IoT

The automotive industry is fast introducing innovative features on the basis of consumer trends, preferences, safety bulletins and market positioning. Design engineers are burning the midnight oil to make IoT a potent technology in the new era of automotive business. Processors and networking devices are set to take the industry a notch higher, provided the technological minds leverage it strategically and to the hilt.

Within The Car

Tomorrow’s opportunities lie in what we call the ‘Software-Defined Car’, a connected vehicle replete with sensors and processors that rely on software. Through convergence, graphical displays, touchscreens, computer graphics and voice control are fast becoming the car’s interface, with electronic sensors and algorithms determining much of the driving experience. The software-driven features coming down the road have new auto infotainment apps, but brand new features such as personalization, advanced driver-assistance features, extensions for car share, region-specific adaptations, car-to-home integration, new vehicle safety options and remote mobile control have become a reality because of connectivity and IoT.

Car to the Cloud

Vehicle applications and driver interactions, can make immense improvements to the marketing, sales, service and product development functions, and personalize and strengthen customer relationships, and increase revenue by developing various value-added services for better safety. This is all possible by harnessing the data that is being generated and analyzed. Also, the data helps to diagnose the vehicles and provides preventive analytics, which could be used to provide information to companies such as insurance agencies, and to determine software updates in the car for its safety and others.

Car Cloud to Everything

The IoT is already gaining significant traction in many areas of the automotive industry. This convergence will optimize process efficiency as actionable intelligence will continually usher novel business opportunities. IoT will accelerate mobile/wireless and cloud innovation due to the increasing use of cloud and the general rise in demand. Advances in Big Data and predictive analytics, will benefit the automotive industry on the whole. IoT will be leveraging global connectivity, big data and analytics to enable ‘Smart Cities’ globally. Through IoT, there will be new capabilities, which will have the ability to remotely monitor, manage and control devices and generate new outputs and information from huge data that is been collected.

Pleasant surprises in business outcomes are set to arise due to rapid IoT-enabled convergence of technologies and platforms. This means that businesses are bound to see lower liability in insurance through driver, vehicle and safety.

Opportunities and The Future

The increasing scale of data from the vehicle and connected devices represents a remarkable revenue opportunity for the players that can provide insights from data, value from transactions and new innovative services. The raw data that is being generated by on-board sensors, cameras, lidars etc. will only accelerate as ADAS and self-driving cars become a reality - a rate that will reach 1 gigabits per second by 2020, according to an Intel report. “This data could amount to 5.4 terabytes daily per vehicle,” explained Mahbubul Alam, CTO of Movimento Group. "Imagine if this data was analyzed and used to create vehicle improvements and cost savings. We’re currently gathering much less than 1% of the data generated," he added. "Car manufacturers and Tier-one suppliers know they need to start making use of all this data. Some of these data will be transmitted to the cloud. However, it raises risks for stakeholders so security of data is paramount. Risk of car-hacking is a menace and the industry needs to tackle it at the earliest.

America's drivers wasted 6.9 billion hours in traffic in 2014. The figure, however, is bound to come down tremendously, and consequently, will shoot up American productivity and scope of a knowledge-based workforce. Benefits of the automotive IoT era will be evident from improved traffic patterns, better fuel economy and enhanced safety. According to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of proposed rulemaking over V2V technology, the aim of this is to ensure that V2V technology is integrated into new vehicles to reduce traffic congestion. Machine-to-Machine (M2M) based IoT industry is projected to grow to around 200 billion US dollars in revenue by 2020 according to Strategy Analytics. Through convergence of IoT and automotive industry, M2M industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next ten years to connect and provide a range of societal benefits to the users.

What Will Be Tomorrow’s Car?

As connected cars become common on urban roads, there will be a considerable number of software devices installed in the vehicles. They are tomorrow’s computer-on-wheels. IoT will further offer a fillip to the car industry by connecting and making use of data through the cloud for the 250 million cars on American roads only. Shared driverless cars are the future though they may sound like a thing of science fiction today. The remunerations will be increased by businesses across sectors even outside of automotive businesses. IoT will allow everything and everyone to be linked on the go, consequently changing the way we collaborate and sustain. The road ahead for the automotive industry is open and lined with opportunities. It’s time to shift into top gear.