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The Internet of Things (IoT) is helping to launch the world into the future, bringing more and more smart connected devices to the market. Currently, one of the biggest trends in IoT technology is smart connected cars. IoT has enabled automotive manufacturers to offer groundbreaking Wi-Fi connected vehicles, but the technology is set to transform public transportation as well. For example, some buses and subway trains will soon be outfitted with security cameras, built-in Wi-Fi and chargers. However, no trend is as great as smart connected cars. Recently, there’s been a surge in smart technology in cars, and soon that surge will go into overdrive.
How Smart Connected Cars Work and Trends in Smart Car Technology
Smart or “connected” cars are connected in two ways, via tethering and via embedding. Tethered smart cars use hardware that allows drivers to connect using their smartphones. Embedded smart cars connect using their own chipset and built-in antenna. These connections have led to stunning innovations – most notably, self-driving technology.
Although cars are not yet fully-automated, there are some cars on the market with automated features. For example, the autopilot feature that enables cars to drive themselves during traffic jams and search the lane ahead for other cars and roadblocks that might prevent them from making the appropriate moves. This has led to the innovative highway autopilot feature, which has blind spot detection technology that enables automated lane changing. Additionally, many cars have self-braking features that allows the car to apply the brakes itself when the driver cannot. The remote valet assistant is another groundbreaking automated feature that gives cars the ability to park and move in and out of small spaces when summoned by a key fob, smartphone or smartwatch.
However, the most exciting trend in self-driving technology is the driver operated vehicle that can switch to self-driving mode with the push of a button. Expansion in this technology will eventually lead to driverless, fully-automated vehicles. In fact, a fully-automated model should make it onto the market within the next five years. Hopefully, all of these features will lead to safer traveling and cheap auto insurance.
Apps and Connected Cars
IoT technology has helped make GPS systems obsolete, replacing them with app integration, and apps like Google Maps. App integration has also allowed for apps like Gasbuddy to be created. This app allows drivers to find the cheapest gas in their area. Besides that, apps like Spotify are now more popular than traditional and satellite radio, which makes them the first choice of automakers as well.
How Smart Cars Will Remain Connected
Smart cars are becoming even more connected, and will remain connected if the manufacturers keep up with the times. Wi-Fi connection is allowing manufacturers to release real-time software updates, which is important if a recall occurs. Greater connectivity via Wi-Fi and more is also giving auto manufacturers new ways to sell their services and products.
Collected data from vehicles can also be used to help analyze performance and gather data on how drivers use their vehicles, which will help with future car design and IoT technology integration. Interest is growing in connected cars, so there’s ample room for growth. In fact, the smart technology of in-car infotainment centers is expected to grow from $7 billion in sales to $15 billion in sales by 2021.
The Top “Connected” Companies
Several automakers and tech companies are making waves with their connected car technology and innovations. For example, BMW is leading the way in smart car technology, followed by Tesla, Daimler, Toyota and General Motors (GM). In the tech industry, tech giants, such as AT&T, Google, Apple, Pandora, Microsoft and Sprint have spent millions on IoT and/or connected car technology. Not to mention, Tesla Motors is created a “super-model” that will be more intuitive than other smart cars and make self-driving vehicles ten times safer.
The Internet of Things has changed the way people drive, and will continue to change it well into the future. For now, cars can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, have app integration and provide driving and parking assistance, but one day they will be able to drive on their own without a driver behind the wheel and so much more. In the next few years, the technology IoT brings to transportation and logistics will change the way the world drives. This will make driving easier and establish the “connected car” as a mainstay.