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The Internet of Things in Your Driveway | @ThingsExpo #AI #IoT #M2M
As cars join the IoT, cars will stop being independent entities and will become part of a larger, connected ecosystem

The Internet of Things in Your Driveway

By 2020, 90 percent of all new cars will have some sort of built-in connectivity platform, and by 2022, there will be 1.8 billion automotive M2M connections. As cars join the Internet of Things, cars will stop being independent entities and will become part of a larger, connected ecosystem. Cars as part of the IoT isn't just a look into the future - it's already happening.

"Everything that moves will become autonomic, it's just a matter of time," says Vishnu Andhare, Consulting Manager at ISG, a global technology research and advisory firm. Andhare notes that all of the big automotive players are already moving towards a future of shared mobility, and mobility-as-a-service - although it will take time. "In the future, it will not be limited by technology, but by the psychological barrier, and by public policy," he says. "there is a limit to which the human mind can go without semblance of control. At airports, you already see terminal-to-terminal autonomic shuttles. We are used to them. But with cars on the road, there is still a psychological barrier."

According to Manish Mistry, VP of IoT at Infostretch, a provider of digital transformation services, "Connected cars today (a.k.a. ‘smart phones on wheels') are getting equipped with intelligent navigation systems and location based personalization. Leveraging the powerful combination of IoT and location, consumers today are able to order and pay while driving, receive location-specific relevant ads, and d many more things while they're on the go. An increasing number of companies are providing the necessary software and hardware solutions, such as Telenav and Comptech Telecommunications, to help car manufacturers successfully leverage IoT and location validates the growing trend."

Already, satellite GPS has made paper maps obsolete, neatly integrating with the automobile to give turn-by-turn directions without having to unfold a paper map and hold it up against the steering wheel while driving. Michael Sullivan, senior editor at BCC Research, observes, "From real time tracking to predictive maintenance, IoT-enabled automobiles will allow manufacturers a host of new amenities to include in upgrade packages and provide drivers with enhanced capabilities to make their interaction with their cars more efficient. Rather than rely on satellite GPS, IoT-based tracking will provide location, traffic conditions, and signal states through continuously streaming sensor data flows from localized cloud platforms to moving dashboard-embedded devices. The addition of analytics can provide best route calculation and safety advice immediately. Predictive maintenance will preschedule visits to the service station based on internal engine sensors that transmit defect or performance data directly to the mechanic's IoT platform. These capabilities just scratch the surface of connected transportation."

David Gauze, Advertising Manager of AutoBodyToolMart, which has been supplying equipment, paint booths and other items to auto shops for 30 years, says that the most disruptive IoT trend in the automotive industry isn't necessarily in the operation of automobiles, but in their maintenance. "With every individual automobile becoming one part of a vast, interconnected ecosystem, communications and self-diagnostics will dominate. As a result, maintenance will take place exactly when it needs to, repairs will be more precise, and because of on-road connectivity between cars and the environments in which they find themselves, accidents will become less frequent. Auto repair shops will become software centers, repairs will be much more precise, with no guesswork involved."

The Cost of an IoTified Automobile
As with all things technology, costs tend to be high at first, then shift dramatically lower. The first hand-held calculators were over $100 each - and can now be purchased at any dollar store.

Alec Sears, IT specialist at Frontier Communications, sees the biggest challenge as being the overhaul that will need to take place before carmakers and tech companies can achieve the level of integration necessary. "Prices are going to hike up, at least initially," says Sears, "As AI becomes more and more integrated into cars. As companies work out the kinks, and of course take full advantage of the brand new features that their cars will offer, the rollout and maintenance of cars will be expensive. Once everything becomes more mainstream the prices will drop, but consumers will have to learn to adapt just as much as the car companies themselves."

Even if costs are higher at first, the fact that less maintenance is likely to be required will mitigate some of that cost. Sears says, "If artificial intelligence is in charge of driving your car, it could be that it puts less strain and wear and tear on your car, and gets in fewer accidents. Smart sensors might be able to help you quickly identify issues that come up with the maintenance so that you can get them taken care of in time."

ISG's Andhare notes that in all IoT models, whether it is automotive, industrial, or consumer, there are a few common business models, and they are all disruptive. The standard automotive business model revolves around a personal vehicle - but future IoT models in the automotive industry will take a step beyond, with personalization playing a big role. "The second business model is as-a-service," says Andhare. "And the third is the recurring revenue model. Venture capitalists love recurring revenue." With the car itself becoming a commodity item, the revenues will come from the services around those cars, the connectivity platforms that will connect cars with other cars on the road, with the roads themselves, and with satellites that guide them.

About Dan Blacharski
Dan Blacharski is an IT thought leader, advisor, industry observer and editor of "NewsOrg.org. He has been widely published on subjects relating to customer-facing technology, fintech, cloud computing and crowdsourcing. He lives in South Bend, Indiana with his wife Charoenkwan and their Boston Terrier, "Ling Ba." Follow @Dan_Blacharski

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