IoT Applications in the Automotive Industry

by | Feb 28, 2019 | IoT Applications & Examples

The automotive industry has always been innovative. Cars were an upgrade over horse carriages, and we have been iterating over that initial concept ever since, redefining the case and developing new ones as we go along.

At both the consumer and commercial levels, applications of IoT have opened up brand new opportunities for cars. Here, let’s explore 2 of them below: connected cars and vehicle tracking.

Tracking of vehicles

For commercial applications, vehicle auctions and dealerships often have large acres with thousands of onsite. Operationally, they have trouble managing their inventory efficiently and in real time.

IoT supports the upward trend of inventory and batch management solutions for these commercial sites. Using GPS-enabled trackers that are capable of communicating with a local low-energy WAN such as LoRa, dealerships can monitor the location of each vehicle on their lot.

This means that their sellers can find vehicles faster, eliminating the scenario of trying to locate a particular vehicle in an ocean of cars. Vehicle location and information are then displayed on a user interface reflecting the package, giving batch managers a more granular and global view of their inventory.

From point of view of the consumer, it may be necessary to know the location of your car for many reasons. Like where did you park it? Is it stolen or not? Has your kid taken it out for a joyride or not?

Although there’s still no solution for teenagers, many companies are developing consumer vehicle tracking solutions. Mastrack, MobiCoPilot and Motosafety are all aimed at concerned parents with GPS-enabled devices that can connect to the diagnostic port of a vehicle to track vehicles.

According to Consumer Reports, “The devices work globally the same way. At each of them, you access a website that allows you to set limits for the driver and display a map showing the position and route of the vehicle. If the car exceeds a certain speed or limit, the devices send you an e-mail or a text alert, or both. “You can also set geographical boundaries (” barriers “) on the website to leave these limits and they will tell you if the device has been disconnected and/or reconnected.

Connected Cars

Connected cars have been a hot topic for many years. Launched in 1996, GM’s OnStar system saved lives with its Connected Communications Subscription Service, which helped in GPS tracking and on-board communication.

Connected cars are not limited to tracking location. The third-generation partnership project (3GPP, which brings together various organizations and telecommunication standards) has laid the foundation for connectivity between vehicles: the cellular vehicle to all (or C-V2X). The standard supports the future of connected cars and provides upward compatibility. There are two modes of operation with C-V2X: Device to Device and Network Device.

Device-to-device supports several communication scenarios such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P). V2V, V2I, and V2P lead to more than just connected cars; they create connected routes through innovations such as collision avoidance, traffic light priority/timing, and pedestrian and cyclist safety alerts wherever possible.

Device-to-network carries network-to-network (V2N) communication over cellular networks, which allows for the inclusion of cloud services in these end-to-end solutions, as well as traffic reporting and routing. With a cellular network connection, the vehicles themselves can support continuous data transmission capabilities.

The future of IoT applications in cars

We have only scratched the surface of IoT applications in the automotive industry, but as in other IoT applications, we can see that there are commercial and consumer applications. In both cases, this level of connectivity allows for better control and understanding of vehicles.

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes technical contents periodically and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He’s an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He’s got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering.