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Top 5 Practical Applications of IoT in Automotive

ABI Research forecaststhat by 2022, there will be 300 million connected cars on the road. Today, there are 37 million of them so one can guess the tremendous amount of growth that is predicted. In the next five years, approximately $270 billion will be spent in the development and implementation of Automotive IoT solutions. The auto industry is at the cusp of a revolution. The tremendous advancements made in the field of sensors, software, cloud, and mobility, have made IoT affordable for the automakers and expedited the adoption by them.

The automotive industry has proactively started riding the digital wave. As an extremely innovative industry, it has evolved from the horse drove carriage days to the point where we stand now. Let us look at the five practical applications of IoT which show great potential or have already become mainstream.

Connected Experience

The auto Industry started experimenting with the concept back in 1996 when GM came up with its OnStar model. That was a revolutionary move, which helped in saving lives by enabling GPS and in-vehicle communication back then. Since then, till 2015, OnStar has received about one billion requests from the customers. BMW connected has taken a step ahead, and from the traffic data, it constantly notifies the driver about the time to start to reach the destination on time. Hyundai has enabled payment via their Xevo app to let the drivers pick up food and snacks on their way. There are many more such examples.

Vehicle Tracking

This IoT enabled phenomenon has broad implications in supply chain visibility as well as fleet management. Radio Frequency Identification Technique, Global Positioning System, and onboard diagnostics together help in tracking the vehicle in real time. These components collect and send vehicle movement data via mobile connections to the gateways. The information moves from the gateways to the network server. Post that, it reaches its destination in the secure server in the cloud. Most of the online retailers have this enabled to provide a real-time to peek into the delivery status to their customers. Manufacturers also find this handy while managing the fleet, while delivering or while collecting materials. Uber, the cab service, is one of the best examples of the vehicle tracking system.

Predictive Maintenance

Most of the automobiles today have sensors attached to their engines. These sensors continually measure and calculate engine health. If the trend or pattern shows any tendency of an anomaly, the owner is immediately notified and requested for a checkup. Health scores for engines filters, coolants are maintained and on the basis of that data, the breakdown of that equipment is predicted. Most of the high-end vehicles of by Ford, BMW, Mercedes, etc. are equipped with the facility to notify the maker about an impending breakdown. Data from the sensors, in tandem with the vehicle repair data, provides details that are used to create algorithms to predict when the vehicle will require maintenance.


Today, vehicles are equipped to deliver in-vehicle entertainment and content pertaining to critical information. Manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, KIA, Cadillac & Fiat are providing this in their products. While the details of In-Vehicle Infotainment or IVI could be different, the broad umbrella consists of delivering audio content, leveraging navigation for driving, rear seat entertainment like movies and games along with social networking. The growing demand for these has forced the auto manufacturers to integrate IVI in their products to make their products smart and in line with the customer’s demands. IVI system framework consists of rear seat entertainment, Internet connectivity, external connectivity, driver assistance, and security systems. The growth in demand for this technology ecosystem has made the proliferation of IVI possible.

Telematics Data

In common parlance, telematics data is all about monitoring a car location. The most prevalent use case for telematics is fleet management. Based on the telematics data, the automakers are enabling route optimization, enable notifications about an impending breakdown, and analyze the driver’s behavior. Honda is doing projects to leverage the telematics data to optimize its fleet utilization and implement predictive service. The benefits are many such as warranty optimization, warning feedback, predictive maintenance. There is a tremendous upside as far as safety is concerned. Based on driver profiling, a lot of recommendations can be provided to make the driver safer.  This data could also be used by insurance manufacturers while defining the policy and premiums.

The whole automotive industry is going through a period of transition. It is no longer looking at itself as a product industry but an amalgamation of products as well as services. The growth in the number of partnerships of automakers with the software and hardware providers are a signal that the industry is transforming. These applications of IoT in automotive could be just scratching the surface – the future will see several innovative applications where data, analytics, IoT, AI, and machine learning could make driving not only safer but extremely optimized and fun! We could not be more excited about it.

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