Recently I came across this bit of interesting factoid which went mostly unnoticed by media, because for most people it is not earth-shattering news- “… the operating cost of some robots is now less than the salary of an average Chinese worker”. This has tremendous implications for manufacturing in the near future (10 years at the maximum) where most mundane and low level jobs will be taken over by machines – especially connected machines. Typical among this list of jobs which will move away from humans and towards machines are assembly line work (will be handled by robots, mostly) and complex manufacturing (3d printers). However in the non-manufacturing world too, the impacts of IoT connected vehicles will be clear: taxi drivers and chauffeurs (replaced by self driving cars), delivery men (by drones), pharmacists and even personal physicians (by smart Watson-type programs) and so on. This is as game-changing as the internet was barely 20 years ago.

IoT connected vehicles

A big chunk of the connected machines paradigm will involve automotive applications and connected vehicles. This article explores a few of these. An important thing to keep in mind as we discuss these applications is the following, Analytics and other data applications of connected machines will fall into two categories: some will be “big” ideas and revolutionary but most will be the “you better get on the bandwagon because they will be common in no time” ideas.

From a connected vehicles perspective, here are some of the major ideas which will be powered by internet of things, and which may soon become very ordinary …

  1. Crash Response: Connected cars can automatically send real-time data about a crash along with vehicle location to emergency teams. This can save lives by accelerating emergency response.
  2. Car Problem Diagnosis: Connected cars are capable of generating prognostic data that can predict a problem before a part even fails, which would prevent the inconvenience of a breakdown and help consumers better manage the timing of vehicle care. Preventative maintenance promises to help reduce repair and warranty costs.
  3. Convenience Services: The ability to remotely access a car makes possible services such as remote door unlock, find my vehicle and stolen vehicle recovery.
  4. Integrated Navigation: Connected cars can integrate GPS with online services to respond to driver preferences, routing, fuel availability and pricing, traffic alerts, points of interest, etc.
  5. Traffic Management: Connected car technology can provide transportation agencies with improved real-time traffic, transit, and parking data, making it easier to manage transportation systems for reduced traffic and congestion.
  6. Infotainment: Connected cars can provide online, in-vehicle entertainment options that provide streaming music and information through the dashboard. AAA has called for limiting certain features while driving to prevent distractions.
  7. Discounts and promotional offerings: Companies can provide insurance or location-based discounts and promotional offerings.
  8. Enhanced Safety: Pilot programs for vehicle-to-vehicle (or “V2V”) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (“V2I”) communications are underway that will warn drivers of potential collisions, dangerous road conditions and other impediments to safe travel.  A range of crash prevention technologies integrated with connected communications such as intersection assistance likely will reduce the number of crashes in the coming years.

Of course it is impossible to foresee which applications will be revolutionary or game-changing. As the well worn saying goes, if I could predict the killer-app, i would not be doing what i currently doing! The challenges involved in making these apps a reality are many. But we can be prepared with the help of analytics. The need for such analytics tools will only increase with IoT connected vehicles in the future.

Originally posted on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 @ 07:53 AM

Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash

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