What will be the impact of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) on the automotive industry?

Will the auto industry be affected by the Internet of Things?

You know the Internet as well as anyone who has been online since the advent of the World Wide Web, right?

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Over 3 Billion People Are Connected To The Internet
Who doesn’t, when currently over 3 billion people all over the world have access to the Internet and the number is expected to grow year after year. Compare that to only 14 million users back in 1993 when Internet connectivity was still very new. And as more countries and remote places gain Internet access, the future would see the world where all devices could talk to one another with new ways for interaction.

According to New York-based ABI Research, by 2020, over 30 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet of Things, including tablets and smartphones. But a device can also be just about anything that has connectivity capability and can transmit data wirelessly – it can be your home, your office or even your car.

Car As Connectivity Devices
You heard it right – your car can be a connectivity device, too. And almost everyone involved in the auto industry agrees that major changes are about to happen in the next five to 10 years. While no one really could tell exactly when it will happen, the world should get ready for the day when connected cars will communicate with each other or with the Internet infrastructure and at the same time receiving and sending data from the “cloud”.

Currently, auto manufacturers have already integrated related technologies in their newest and latest models to help drivers in many different ways, including:

  • Guided parallel parking
  • Keeping drivers in the proper lane
  • Safe and protected backing maneuver

Some cars even have monitoring capability to determine insurance rates.

The Internet of Things for the auto industry is inevitable.

Capitalizing On Interconnectivity Of Devices
Like the other industries that have successfully capitalized in the interconnectivity of devices to offer products with more features and benefits for the consumers, the auto industry wants to use the same strategy to offer more techno-based cars to car users and lovers. Industry leaders are aware of the lucrative potential of connected cars and they hope to get a big slice of the pie.

Car As Connectivity Device
While harnessing data from vehicles can be so complicated, automakers are keen to use the opportunity of data and connectivity to make cars safer, more efficient and smarter. Car manufacturers cannot simply reject the idea of being able to produce cars that can intelligently manage even smartphone apps on their own.

Breaking Down The Secrecy Wall
Observers say that for this to happen, auto manufacturers will have to agree to break down the walls of secrecy and competition and work collaboratively together to develop and design common usage standards which up to now is non-existent.

An internal agreement among all stakeholders in the auto industry must be made in order to simplify data mining and allow outside developers to gain access to software and codes. And as the industry is so used to secrecy and stiff competition, this is one drastic change to take.

IoT Is Inevitable
At present there are a lot of uncertainties for the auto industry on automotive Internet of Things. And GENIVI, a non-profit industry group advocating the adoption of the open-source development platform for in-vehicle “infotainment”, has been tireless in this crusade. GENIVI members and thought leaders from around the world are convinced that the Internet of Things in automobiles and other vehicles is inevitable.

In the future, automakers should collaborate with each other to be successful in vehicle infotainment.

IoT Will Change The Game
According to Intel’s automotive strategist, Joel Hoffmann, the Internet of Things in cars it’s just a matter of time and that it will ultimately be the game changer. He said that if the auto industry or the automakers can’t embrace the IoT, they’ll end up losing in the infotainment business. Automakers should figure out a way to be more inventive, creative and daring and not be limited to the mechanical aspects of the car manufacturing process such as assembling various parts, using appropriate motors, the right brass fender washers, etc. The auto industry should not give up the business opportunity for vehicle connectivity.

Hoffmann observes that while a lot of people seem to be keen on wanting their cars to sync up with rest of the devices, only a few are willing to invest their money on it. Automakers should concentrate their resources toward developing and designing safety features or cars that are driver-centric. He said consumers are more willing to spend more for safer cars which has already been proven.

IoT Requires Collaboration
A Frost & Sullivan automotive analyst, Doug Gilman, shares the same observation. He says that without collaboration and a common agreement on standards, the IoT on cars will never take off. Gilman compared the car’s innards to that of the modern cockpit of an airplane. This part of the airplane is one of the most advanced electrical systems anyone can find in this world. And the aviation industry was able to do that because the airlines collaborated. This openness to sharing ideas and collaborating with each other is just not taken in by the auto industry.  For car companies to convert the data they collect –driving habits, types of music drivers listen to, where they shop, performance issues, and many more, into dollars, the privacy issue will have to take a back seat.

Until the automakers are ready to collaborate with each other and consumers are willing to invest in a vehicle that has connectivity,  the world will have to wait to see if the industry will overcome this hurdle.

What do you think?

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1 thought on “The Future Of The Auto Industry And The Internet Of Things”

  1. This article reminds me of the concept of “Grid-tied, which means that your houser is connected to the grid, and you are still set up to buy your power from the power company when you need it. But, when your solar array is producing power, you can either sell that power straight to the grid with the goal of financially offsetting the cost of the power you have purchased, or you use that power yourself first, and sell any extra to the grid. You may not be using the actual electrons you have produced yourself, but you are still contributing green power to everyone’s benefit.

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