The automobile industry is among the largest and most vital industries in the world. Increasingly this vast industry is undergoing disruption. The idea of self-driving cars has taken hold across the globe.
Existing technology makes it possible to create such cars and is leading to a frenzy among automakers and technology companies to develop autonomous vehicles. A leading market research firm estimates that by the end of 2020, there will be more than 250 Mn connected vehicles on the world’s roads.
This doesn’t mean there will be 250 Mn autonomous vehicles, however, it means that the number of vehicles that have IoT devices inside them will grow to 250 Mn.
IoT devices will grow in importance by 2020 in the following ways.
What IoT Devices Are Commonly Used Inside Cars?
A number of cars already have IoT devices, for instance, many vehicles come with built-in navigation systems like Google Maps. The platform on which Google Maps works is an IoT device because it can send and receive information from the internet.
Other IoT technologies like infotainment systems will begin replacing in cars even recently installed entertainment systems. More cars will come with built-in infotainment technology that allows passengers to listen to music on Spotify or stream video from popular video streaming sites.
This will negate the need for connecting phones to entertainment systems in cars as is often done today.
The Road Ahead
While the proliferation of IoT devices on Indian roads will certainly happen far more gradually than it will in developed countries, it will nonetheless happen. Within a decade most new cars sold in urban centres in India will come fitted with more IoT devices. In developed countries, there are already cars that come fitted with self-driving technology.
This will only increase during next year. For instance, the number of cars that will come pre-fitted with technologies like stop-and-go autopilot will increase by 2020. Stop-and-go autopilot uses IoT devices like sensors allowing a car to self navigate during a traffic jam by moving according to how cars ahead are moving.
While this technology will become more commonplace next year in Europe and North America, the day isn’t far when it will be found in Indian cars as well.
New technologies like predictive maintenance will become more commonplace by next year. While once again less so in India than overseas. Predictive maintenance is an exciting technology and key to the overall smooth functioning of an automobile.
It comprises of IoT sensors in vehicles that monitor functional metrics of the vehicle. What makes this technology so useful is that car owners whose vehicles are fitted with this technology are less likely to be caught off guard by breakdowns. IoT devices monitor all the vital components in a car and can predict accurately whether a component is in danger of malfunctioning. When there is a possibility of a component malfunction, the car informs its owner.
IoT sensors will also be used to transmit information about a car to its manufacturer. This will allow manufacturers to monitor all systems connected by IoT devices and in case of an impending malfunction, inform the owner of the car. Because manufacturers will have information about every vehicle they’ve produced, they will be able to forewarn owners of defects or faults that have arisen in identical models.
Other IoT devices used for security, surveillance, and safety will be better integrated into automobiles. While such devices have been around for decades, their sophistication will increase in the years ahead. For instance next year, behavioural biometrics may make it possible for car owners to unlock their vehicle using gait walking and other markers.
A phone would become familiar with the owner’s gait and using other biometric markers would unlock his or her car. Such technology is certainly cutting edge but by next year more vehicles that incorporate behavioural biometrics will be seen on the planet’s roads. IoT devices will be crucial to making behavioural biometrics a success.
The manufacture of IoT devices is already a huge industry. Over the next few years, more IoT devices will be found embedded in cars. That they will be used to enhance and enrich the experience of owning automobiles is a given, what is less certain is how quickly or slowly they permeate in India and whether they will eventually lead to a world where automobile ownership becomes more widespread or unnecessary.