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ST: Cars find place in grand scheme of IoT

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Internet of Cars? sensors? processors? Internet of Everything?

All these technologies within the car are already interconnected and centrally controlled. Some are even connectivity features in their own right such as positioning and car-to-infrastructure. The car as a technology hub has already begun to fulfil the Internet of Everything concept with people, things and processes interacting seamlessly. Collect, manage, and analyse data, then connect everything to the Internet, and you've got the full picture. The Internet of Cars becomes a full platform within the Internet of Everything. Safety & security and infotainment & telematics, are richly enhanced with the benefit of connectivity and data transfer. Powertrain/fuel economy may not produce significant benefits from operating in the connected world.

Safety & security

Safety is without doubt the number one concern for car users. Similar to the internet concept of harnessing the strength of the connected crowd, cars when connected together can help each other to be safer. Armed with smart sensors to detect the environment around the car, connectivity to be online, and satellite positioning to establish relative location, cars can inform each other of traffic and road conditions and other concerns ahead.

Already today, telematics applications can automatically execute emergency assistance calls in the event of accidents. Vehicle maintenance, the preventive route to car safety, is already being greatly enhanced. Remote diagnosis of the vehicle and data logging can keep track of and highlight the need for maintenance work. Telematics also enables anti-theft features as a stolen car can be tracked and its whereabouts reported to the authorities.

On a macro level, the Internet of Cars can enable intelligent traffic forecast and management through a unified communication network for vehicles that is leading to safer roads, less congestion and lower emissions caused by cars sitting in traffic jams.

All these "connected" safety features, together with traditional passive safety technologies such as airbags, braking, and stability control is creating an integrated approach bringing car safety to a whole new level.

Like anything "connected," security is of course a concern. Critical parts of the vehicle, including the electronic control unit for the engine and other safety systems, need to be protected against malicious attacks. Likewise for the large amounts of data the connected car will generate.

Driver behaviour and habits data can be tracked, recorded, and transferred to insurance companies for analysis. Such precise data tracking can allow insurance companies to offer highly tailored policies based on the pay-as-you-drive or pay-how-you-drive models. At the expense of some personal data, this indirectly promotes more economical and safer driving practices.

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