The rapid growth of the Internet of Things has increased the number of devices connected to the internet. Traditionally, only audio-visual equipment, home appliances, and biometric wearable could connect to the internet. However, the automobile industry is making a play to corner this trend for its gain. For example, entrenching Wi-Fi into the vehicles facilitates music streaming and GPS navigation. The number of connected cars will continue to rise, and services of connected cars will account for approximately $40 billion by 2020. These services will include automatic collision notification, fleet management, traffic management, autonomous driving, navigation, and enhanced safety. Big data will be the root of these applications even as the amount of data collected through sensors continues to increase. Automobile manufacturers will interpret and leverage this data to automate and make the automobile industry more efficient.

Autonomous Driving

It is undeniable that autonomous driving will increase the safety of our roads. Nearly 90% of road accidents are due to human error. Data is needed for autonomous cars to become a reality. Automobile manufacturers will furnish vehicles with sensors to measure parameters such as the direction of braking, hazards, speed, traffic signals, position, and pedestrian proximity. That way, autonomous vehicles will respond to emergencies devoid human error. Already camera controlled reversing applications and collision warnings have laid the groundwork for the autonomous vehicles. In fact, some higher end models are already using speed control and braking assistance applications. Leveraging this real-time data will transform the way people drive. Besides changing the way people drive, big data will help anticipate maintenance and prevent mechanical failures by updating drivers of possible mechanical issues. Analytics will also allow automobile manufacturers to sync cars to environmental changes.

Connected Cars

Incorporating big data into the automobile industry isn’t a big stretch. High-end models already contain advanced technology such as sensors and onboard computing tools. However, the difference is that most of these modern cars generate and store this information locally. In contrast, connected vehicles will update this data and share it to the right platforms. Big data will enable automobile manufacturers to update applications and monitor engine performance remotely. For example, automotive manufacturers will be able to update drivers remotely when the vehicle is due for lubrication. With big data, personal errands such as responding to emails and internet banking will get easier. Since automotive manufacturers gather big data from a multitude of sensors, it will be easier to draw inferences regarding consumer behavior. The data collected from sensors will be invaluable as it will impact resource allocation.

Analysis of aggregated data will make it easier to manage connected cars. Sensors will streamline the decision-making process by managing braking techniques, route selection, and speed remotely. Furthermore, smart sensor algorithms will make it easier for connected cars to suggest appropriate responses. Big data will make automotive maintenance more preventative rather than reactive. Use of sensors across all systems will elucidate mechanical issues before they result in engine failure. All this will increase the efficiency of connected vehicles and lower maintenance costs.

Enhance Road Safety

Interconnected motorways will also keep drivers up to date and reduce death tolls that are caused by human error. Information regarding intersections, accidents, and constructions will enable engineers to design road flows according to traffic patterns and make connected cars navigate more efficiently. That will enhance road safety and increase the efficiency of the interconnected motorways. Insurance companies are ready to leverage the benefits of the vast pool of big data. Insurers will use information gleaned from smart sensors to monitor the performance and safety of a connected car and offer affordable auto insurance. Insurers will offer their customers discounts based on driving performance. Gathering the events of an accident will become less subjective and accurate than when using traditional data collection techniques. That will hopefully enhance the safety of our roads and make drivers more cautious. Reliance on big data will only increase as more connected cars enter the scene. Consequently, connected cars technology will rise and result in the construction of more data-centric vehicles.


by: Mark Palmer