The number of devices that are connected to the internet has skyrocketed recently and was approximated to reach a figure of almost 5 billion by the year 2015. Not only that, projections made by various research firms project the increase was as much as 30% until 2015, after which it might increase five plus times to reach a figure of over 25-30 billion by 2020!
Among all of that, cars will be the major contributors of the ever-expanding IoT ecosystem. There are various projections that might sound crazy, but not entirely impossible; for example, like this, ‘one out of every five cars will be connected to some wireless network by 2020, which will be more than quarter of the total cars in the world, which is roughly estimated to be 1 billion’.
So, now that connected cars are already here, the wireless connectivity options within the vehicles are expanding at a faster rate and are progressively moving from luxury or premium brands to even mid-market cars that have higher selling volumes compared to the premium ones. With such a high volume of connected cars penetrating the market the need for robust standards and secure connectivity has already become an absolute must to prevent remote hack vulnerabilities.
Today’s market of connected cars (smart cars)
In the last couple of years, the market of connected cars has boomed, thanks to the IoT and its applications. In the current scenario, several automakers are bringing about the connection of vehicular devices in the following ways:
- Embedded cars which make use of a built-in antenna along with a chipset
- Tethered cars in which the smart connections make use of some hardware for allowing the drivers to connect their cars with the help of their smartphones
In addition to this, some form of app integration is also becoming highly common in the market of connected cars today. Apps like Google Maps and other navigational tools are already replacing the built-in GPS infrastructure that comes with connected cars.
The most profound example of the transformation of the automobile industry with self-driving cars – Tesla. These smart cars by Tesla would has already set the ball rolling for a realistic sci-fi future.
Sci-fi tech: Small thoughts
A driver in a connected (self-driving) car gets a cardiac arrest. The biosensors in the car sense this situation well in advance. The car computes the time to the nearest hospital with emergency services and automatically notifies the hospital staff of the situation. The driver’s vitals are transmitted to the hospital for better emergency preparedness. The car drives down to the hospital, where humans take over the situation and save the driver.
And, all this while the driver’s dog keeps an eye out.
How will IoT Make the Smart Cars Even More Connected?
The leading manufacturers of the automobiles are revamping their efforts towards improving the experience of connected cars for various reasons. Internet connectivity in the smart cars would allow the automobile companies into releasing the necessary software updates in real-time.
Additionally, the automobile companies could also make use of the data from the connected cars for analyzing the performance and thus, obtain valuable information on the usage of the cars by the drivers. Finally, enhanced connectivity of the connected cars through IoT implementation would provide greater scope to the automobile companies into cross-selling their products as well as services to the potential customers.
The IoT-enabled connected vehicle ecosystem is expected to become highly important in both logistics as well as transportation in the coming years.
But for now, the only connected item in my car is the Blue&Me Bluetooth connectivity, from a decade ago. Just kidding!