There has been a lot of buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) recently. More and more devices are being connected to the internet, from household appliances that act as the brain of the kitchen, to ‘smart health’ wearables that can measure a person’s living conditions and health issues.
But the revolutionary IoT movement isn’t confined to small, personal items. Here we reveal how the internet of things will power the vehicles of the future, highlighting five technology trends set to transform the driving experience:
- Artificial Intelligence, Voice Control and Virtual Personal Assistants
Today’s cars are loaded with high-tech features, but touch-screen and texting systems can often be a dangerous distraction for drivers.
That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) and voice control comes in. Certain Automakers are now looking at the concept of using AI as a voice-controlled, virtual personal assistant*. Your virtual personal assistant will be able to remind you of an upcoming appointment, and even control features in the car like the sat-nav, giving you safe and hands-free control of devices while driving.
Powered by voice control, your assistant could even answer questions about the weather, and suggest when you need to set off for a journey based on live traffic conditions. How clever!
AI interfaces are expected to be introduced as early as 2019 or 2020.
- Technology Allowing Cars to “Talk” to Each Other
Vehicle to vehicle (V2V) technology was hailed as a significant technological breakthrough for car safety by the MIT Technology Review back in 2015**. So what is it – and are we any closer to this technology being implemented?
Simply put, V2V technology is the transmission of data between vehicles using network technology like cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X), essentially enabling vehicles to “talk” to each other. Through talking to each other, vehicles will be able to share data on speed and road conditions, and ultimately alert each other to potentially dangerous driving conditions. This makes cars safer because it greatly extends the range of on-car sensors, and can even alert drivers to vehicles hidden around corners, or approaching junctions (where 40% of motorbike crashes occur).
Depending on how the technology is applied, the driver may either receive a warning alert, or the vehicle may even spring into action, taking preventative measures such as braking or slowing down – bringing the automated car one step closer.
It’s being predicted that 35 million V2V-enabled cars will be on the road by 2022***, and that 5G will play a pivotal role in these crash-mitigation communications.
- Using Data To Become a Better Driver
It’s a frustration familiar to most drivers: finishing up a long day and forgetting where you parked the car…Well not anymore! Thanks to telematics, your vehicle can be quickly located – so the days of circling multi-storey car parks are over!
V-Auto**** by Vodafone uses telematics for this exact purpose; connected to the Vodafone network via the V-Sim, the device works as a clever GPS car tracker, so you just need to open the app on your phone to find out your vehicle’s exact location (in areas of GPS and Vodafone network coverage).
Apps and devices like V-Auto by Vodafone can also provide drivers with other useful data such as how well they are driving. This can be particularly useful for new drivers who want to monitor aspects of their driving like braking behaviour, ensuring they are continuing to work on their road safety, even after passing their test.
- Driverless Cars & Automatic Repairs
Can you imagine driving a car that does all the work for you?
Driverless cars work off numerous connected IoT technologies, from GPS technology and sensors, cameras and lasers, to sophisticated software analyses that send instructions to the car’s controls.
Some of the biggest companies in the world are investing huge sums of money into building self-driving cars, and these fully-autonomous vehicles could be on the road by 2021, according to the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport***.
A self-driving car is one thing – but what about a car automatically booking itself in for repairs or refusing to move if it may put the driver at risk?
Currently the responsibility of car maintenance lies with the driver. But just as smart refrigerators know when to order groceries and home automation systems know when to turn the heating on, smart cars will know when they need maintenance check-ups.
IoT will allow vehicles to constantly monitor their own health through diagnostics, so if there is an issue with a crucial car part or system, the vehicle could simply refuse to move. This technology will continue to improve over the next few years.
- Auto SOS Services
It’s now law that every new car in Europe must be equipped with IoT technology called eCall, through which the vehicle has the ability to call the police after a road accident.
If you’re not thinking of buying a new car any time soon, but still want to take advantage of this safety technology, there are some fantastic devices on the market. For example, as well as acting as a GPS car tracker, V-Auto by Vodafone also offers an Auto SOS feature.
The clever feature can detect if you’re in a serious collision****, at which point our trained agents will contact you to check if you need roadside assistance, or they’ll contact the emergency services on your behalf.
At Vodafone, we are committed to shaping a future of confidence for drivers around the world. Currently we have 900 experts working on automotive technology and have connected over 18.3m vehicles. What are your thoughts on IoT and future cars? Let us know on Twitter @VbyVodafone.
****V-Auto by Vodafone car tracking device connects straight to the Vodafone network via a V-Sim by Vodafone and is activated and accessible via a smartphone app (available on both iOS and Android and, for both Vodafone and non-Vodafone customers). It is compatible with most cars made after 2003 – find out if your car is eligible at: https://shop.v.vodafone.com/UK/V-Auto#devices-specifications
A one-time purchase fee of £85 applies and the subscription is just £4/month. Terms apply. For full functionality: a 30-day V-SIM plan, Vodafone network coverage and GPS signal are required. Auto SOS only works in your home country and not when you’re abroad. View the full terms and details at https://shop.v.vodafone.com.
****Only works in the country where your V-Auto monthly subscription is based (Germany, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Spain or the UK) and if you’re in an area of Vodafone network coverage.