At this point, practically everyone on the planet is deeply familiar with the Internet; the term has become so ubiquitous that few stop to think about what it actually means. The term Internet is actually an abbreviation for interconnected network, and a new interconnected network of physical items is gaining traction as the next big advancement in the world of tech.
The Internet of Things (IoT) aims to connect every item that can be integrated with the web. That means that your cell phone would be able to communicate with your smart appliances, and you could set the temperature at your apartment from your work computer. Naturally, the automotive industry presents a huge opportunity for IoT; a little forward thinking is all that it takes to see how materially this advancement might change roadways forever.
How Automotive IoT Could Impact The Industry
Believe it or not, IoT has already made its way into most new cars. Those infotainment features that now come standard are a product of enhanced connectivity, enabled by either embedded technology or a tethered connection, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the ways that IoT will affect the auto industry.
When you walk down a crowded street, what prevents you from bumping into every person that you pass by? It’s certainly not luck or divine intervention guiding your path every single step of the way—it’s simply the fact that you and everyone else on the sidewalk can see one another.
The essential issue with autonomous driving is that vehicles lack the sentience to communicate with one another. Technology like sensors, radar, and cameras have made autopilot possible, but IoT could make true autonomous cars a reality. If all vehicles were connected to the same network, they would be able to constantly stream information about where they were headed and how they were planning to get there, making for far safer travel.
Many people are conditioned to receiving notifications from their phones or laptops that it’s time to install an update, but cars could soon start sending the same alerts with the advent of IoT on the horizon.
Many facets of modern vehicles are software-reliant; IoT will ensure that those components are up-to-date at all times. This will not only enhance the function of vehicles but may even extend their longevity.
All too often, anything outside of regular maintenance when it comes to a vehicle is incredibly costly because it only appears after a disaster. Thanks to the interconnected network of chips that IoT would require in vehicles, cars will have the ability to detect a potential issue before it fully materializes.
This will give owners the opportunity to address issues before they become too costly, and to keep their cars in better working order.
As if the Internet weren’t already infused into every facet of life, it appears that it’s only going to become more common in the auto industry as well, shaping the future of vehicles drastically.