8 Ways the Internet of Things is Changing the Motor Industry


The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of technology’s most exciting frontiers today, transforming industries and fundamentally changing the way we live. The motor industry is no exception to this revolution, shifting everything from what cars can do and how they are made to how consumers view the very concept of owning a car. Taking all of that into account, here are eight ways the IoT is changing the motor industry today.

Connected cars 

Business Insider predicts that connected cars will comprise of as much as 82% of all cars shipped in 2021, up from just 35% in 2016. These IoT enabled vehicles can communicate with each other to precisely calculate their positions on the road and avoid crashes, while maintaining perfect spacing to ease traffic congestion. The Digitalist Magazine estimates that this technology can potentially save 90 billion hours per year from traffic jams that currently waste $1 trillion in fuel.

Self-driving cars

Probably the most famous way the IoT is transforming the industry is through self-driving cars that take connected cars
up a notch by eliminating – or at least minimizing – the task of actual human driving. These cars use a massive amount of
information from the environment, maps, and the car itself to be able to operate autonomously, with many major car brands from Ford and Volvo to Mercedes Benz and BNW currently working on their own autonomous vehicles.

Real-time software updates

The fast-paced changes in the motor industry are quickly transforming car manufacturers into tech companies in their own right. One way they’re moving in this direction is the implementation of the IoT to release software updates in real time. Dubbed as “over-the-air” updates, these remove the need to physically collect cars for updates.

Better manufacturing systems

As seen in other industries, the IoT will further improve car manufacturing processes. The technology connects the supply chain and drives costs down, while collecting data automatically to improve service and production. The IoT also serves to accelerate the design, manufacturing, and delivery of cars.

Predictive maintenance

A less-touted but equally crucial facet of the IoT in the motor industry is the ability of car parts to communicate with each other. Having sensors in different parts of an IoT-enabled car eliminates guesswork in diagnosing car issues and maintenance needs. This is especially crucial to trucking companies, whose vehicles stand to benefit the most from IoT upgrades. Forbes reports that these systems yielded strong results among tested fleets, with an accuracy rate of 90% when predicting failures.

Monitoring driver behavior

Another factor the IoT addresses in road fatalities is human error, manifested most often in distracted driving, DUI, speeding, and driver exhaustion. The new technology complements existing regulations by helping drivers adopt safer road habits. For instance, Fleetmatics shows how an app can complement Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to automatically log hours of service (HoS) and proactively send an alert to both the driver and management if the former is nearing the maximum HoS. This way, the app helps fleets comply with regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and prevent driver exhaustion, which has been proven to negatively affect driving performance.

Improving roads themselves

The motor industry is also proactive in the development of smarter and IoT-enabled roads. Future connected cars will be able to communicate with smart roads regarding road conditions like traffic buildup, physical obstacles, and environmental concerns from rain or snow. In addition, some roads may be outfitted with solar energy stations that could charge electric vehicles, while others can charge toll fees using distance information sent through the cars’ systems.

Connectivity on and off the road

Just as the IoT is making it possible for people to check fuel levels, unlock doors, and start the ignition in their car remotely, it is also making it possible for you to control the IoT-enabled parts of your smart home from your car. Manufacturers are now enabling connectivity between cars and homes, allowing homeowners to monitor security systems, locks, temperature, and home energy use remotely, with personal assistance traveling with owners from their homes to their cars and vice versa. It wasn’t so long ago that cars were seen as merely a means to get around, but technology is changing that concept very quickly. It is an exciting time to be alive, with even more developments in IoT and the
motor industry to come.
Exclusively written for 365 Days of Motoring
About the Author
JenandtheRoad considers herself a jill-of-all-trades and has a special interest in all things tech and IoT. When she isn’t working as an IT administrator, she enjoys fishing and baking. She loves sushi and sports cars.

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