Optimizing the Automotive Experience with Internet of Things

- Sameer Mahapatra, Country Manager and VP Sales in India & SAARC at Aeris Communications


An integral part of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the platforms and applications supporting IoT devices, where the demand for improved technology in these cloud-based systems is increasing. From sustainability to safety, electric vehicles to autonomous cars, the automotive industry is transforming rapidly. With the market narrowing, the user experience will be the differentiating factor and its already emerging as one of the key trends.

It’s encouraging to see that platforms and services supporting the devices will capture 68% of all IoT revenue opportunities by 2025 (Capacity Media report). In the automotive industry, newly manufactured vehicles equipped with IoT devices are projected to increase to 75% of all automotive exports by 2024. This upturn in connected cars means more opportunities to improve vehicle ownership experiences in innovative ways. Predictive maintenance, diagnostics, usage-based insurance, Wi-Fi hotspots, improved GPS and traffic information, roadside assistance, fuel motoring, parking spot locators, and the facilitation of vehicle-related payments are all services that could benefit consumers in a big way.

Let us deep dive into ways on how IoT will enhance your automotive experience –

Enhancing the Connected Car Experience through Data Collection

Connected Cars are already trending and hold a promising future in integrated transportation and smart cities projects worldwide. Connected cars have the ability to communicate with other vehicles and networks via Internet access. With advancement in supporting technologies, complex data can now be collected, stored and processed for the kind of intelligence vital for OEMs, suppliers and associated service providers with monetization opportunities that ultimately help the enterprises provide their consumers with an improved driving experience.

Very interesting scenarios have started to emerge with IoT in action. Consider how city parking can be made seamless with IoT. An application indexing parking garages use GPS to navigate a driver to the closest garage. The app communicates with sensors inside the parking garage, directs the driver to an open spot, then links them to an automated payment app. Further, another sensor inside the same vehicle identifies low fuel, communicates with GPS to navigate the driver to the nearest fuel station, exchanges data with sensors in the pump, then directs the driver to position their vehicle for an automated fill-up. The driver is charged through the payment application and within minutes, without stepping out of their connected car.

Vehicle-related service providers, such as auto insurance, are not only improving their customer experience with IoT, but are able to come up with new business models to serve their clients well. Recently it was in news that the insurance regulator is looking into linking traffic violations committed by the registered owner or driver of the vehicle with the motor insurance premiums to be paid. Higher the number of challans, higher would be the premium. IoT can help vehicle owners, especially those who operate small to large fleets in a number of ways. IoT enables collection of data on mileage and driving behaviour. Aeris generates reports on number of driver behaviour parameters including complete trip history such as number of harsh breaks, speed of the vehicles during the trip duration, undue stoppages and overall driving performance. This helps monitor the driving skills closely and prevents rash driving behaviour, thus preventing challans. Our system even helps regenerate data on accidents which helps insurance companies settle claims faster and with more accuracy by segregating false claims from genuine ones.

GEMs & Capsule Farms: A More Sophisticated Connected Vehicle Platform

The entire system supporting connected cars must be scalable, customizable, secure, and adequately conceived and maintained for the autonomous, related car proposition to be viable. Given the mobile aspect of connected cars, embedded systems will need to run seamlessly when moving between computing environments. They must handle many vehicle sensors operating in unison with sensors in city infrastructure, GPS and payment applications, service and product providers, etc.

Granular entity modules (GEMs) are self-contained applications that have everything needed to run, sustain and maintain an IoT connected delivery service function. One GEM can transmit vehicle location data to a sensor-rich garage to find the best parking spot. A second GEM can combine data from a time-measuring sensor in the garage to the driver’s payment application. Utilizing a variation on container technology, GEMs can manage the autonomous, connected car experience seamlessly linking disparate devices and applications. Connected cars likely will be manufactured with diverse requirements. One group of models may come equipped with GPS, roadside assistance, and automated payment functions, while another foregoes roadside assistance for predictive maintenance features. Capsule farm architecture solves this problem of having diverse requirements by organizing specific GEMs into groupings that can scale rapidly, modify, or segment for various deployments while maintaining security and overall functionality.