Remember the times when driving was enjoyable and fun?
Well, I can bet that you can't think of such a dream come true at the top of your mind. I mean, considering the traffic conditions and the way people drive their vehicles nowadays, it is itself a wonder for me that I reach home without getting in a fight with anyone.
But what if I tell you there is a way to overcome this predicament.
What if I tell you that there is a technology that is making driving more free and easy. The technology that Iâ€™m talking about is â€śInternet of Thingsâ€ť.
IoT has already taken the world by storm. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.5% by the end of 2020 and reach a total valuation of $457 billion! The transportation sector will be an active investor in the same.
Out of the total 26.6 billion IoT devices, 4.1% are used in transportation. Moreover, transportation is the second biggest industry financing in IoT that spent more than 78 billion USD in 2016 alone.
No matter how we perceive it, the IoT sector has become a hotbed for the transportation sector that has empowered the growth of futuristic and smart city solutions. Let us explore these applications in detail:
1) Traffic Management:
In the transportation field, traffic is the biggest elephant in the room. Besides the frustration it brings, traffic wastes a ton of fuel. As per statistics, more than 3.1 billion gallons of fuel was wasted due to traffic congestion in 2014. With the increase in the adoption of vehicles, this number can only be expected to grow along with the number of hours a commuter wastes in traffic (54 hours a year).
The technology of Internet of Things can be used to address the issue of traffic in the most innovative way possible. IoT has enabled the development of a connected network called vehicle-to-everything (V2X). This means that the autonomous & connected vehicles running on roads can share data with everything necessary to support the smooth flow of traffic.
The cars embedded with sensors and other electronic devices will communicate with other vehicles, signals, and traffic signs. Based on this communication, the drivers can gain suggestions to alter speeds or change lanes to prevent entering the congested road. This converts the stop-and-go flow of traffic into an uninterrupted one and hence annihilate any chances of stress that a person may feel while driving.
This may seem like a work of science fiction movie; however, it isn't. Countries like Netherlands and Singapore are leading in the AV (automated vehicles) race and are infusing their roads and cars with high-end IoT capabilities.
2) Vehicle Health Maintenance:
While it may come naturally to you, there are people to whom cars look like spaceships. Other thank driving, it isn't very easy for them to keep their vehicle in shape and sometimes even comprehend the dashboard indicators.
Fortunately, the vehicles are nowadays fitted with on-board diagnostic ports or OBDs. These ports allow manufacturers and mechanics to extract and review the information about a car's health from an external plug-in computer. However, there are still some limitation to this.
First, the car owner is still supposed to bring its vehicle to a mechanic to get it scanned for any probable issue. Second, by plugging the car's computer with an external electronic interface, the car owner compromises its personal information (from car cameras and infotainment systems) to the mechanic.
IoT based diagnostic and maintenance mitigates these issues, allowing car owners to track their vehicles' condition and performance themselves. By directly attaching an external device like an automatic adapter into their OBDs, users can remotely monitor their vehicles' health on a smartphone or desktop. This helps people to reduce maintenance costs and conduct predictive & condition-based maintenance to reduce time caused due to scheduled car inspection by mechanics.
The benefit of this application even extends to the business realm. Fleet companies are supposed to manage the optimum performance of their fleet vehicles to ensure timely cargo delivery. IoT allows fleet operators to track the condition of their fleet vehicles from far off locations and accordingly manage fleet operations.
Speaking of the fleet, we come to another application of IoT in the transportation sector.
3) Fleet Management:
As discussed, fleet management is not a simple task. A fleet operator is supposed to track and manage numerous factors such as route, weather, and geographical limitations to make sure that the cargo is delivered on time.
Similar to IoT based predictive maintenance, a fleet manager can use IoT systems to monitor the path taken by the fleet trucks. Furthermore, variables like a truck's weight and trailer's temperature can also be tracked remotely to make sure that the cargo being shipped is safe and secure.
Subsequently, by using geofencing techniques, the fleet managers can even create virtual geographical boundaries to gain alerts whenever one of their vehicles cross them. This enforces supervision capabilities that further add to the security of the shipment and optimizes the processes of fleet operations.
Further monitoring of factors such as fuel consumption and idle time also helps fleet managers to reduce extraneous costs. Also, the implementation of IoT relieves the drivers from mundane manual reporting tasks which further lowers the delay in cargo delivery.
IoT is a game-changer for the transportation segment. Its applications in this field widely extend to the creation of a connected ecosystem that manifests from the integration of sensors and results in several vehicular mobility based benefits. With these benefits, we will soon see the future that will be driven in an automated and connected manner.