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Driving the Internet of Things

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Cars connect people with places; taking us to work, to meet friends and family but now the automotive industry is working to connect vehicles with each other and a network of utilities via the Internet of Things (IoT).

The benefits of devices collecting data to make our lives better is already capturing the imagination of consumers; intelligent fridges automatically ordering food when you run low or your heating system automatically coming on because the forecast predicts cold weather. But if we look at what the IoT could do in the car, then the benefits multiply exponentially.

The car is a great ‘data centre’ with the potential to collect and share information from a huge range of sources but this idea isn’t new. In fact, the concept of connected cars has been around for some time, building momentum in recent years with smart phones providing a method (although tethered), of bringing data into the car. Soon though, your car will manage this all by itself through a safe interface that drivers and passengers can use intuitively.

Car makers have also recognised this and can see the advantages; need to do a service, recall or update? Not such an issue with a connected car as upgrades can be sent wirelessly. Maybe you want to try a new feature in the car? IoT will enable you to have functions and features enabled remotely. Just download or pay for an upgrade such as new surround sound feature and you can be enjoying it in minutes.

Recognising our desire for bespoke features, your car will become very personal. It will know which coffee shop you prefer to get your morning drink from and take you there, arrange payment and collect the reward points. It will also remember you didn’t enjoy a particular hotel last time you visited the city and it will seamlessly avoid directing you there when you ask it to find you a room for the night.

A car collecting data will be a huge source of information for business. It will know where you shop, work, when you drive and even what you do on your weekends off. This means with IoT, car manufacturers will become much closer to their customers. No longer will the relationship just be rekindled when you go into the dealer for a service or a problem. It will become 24/7.

Car makers will know more about you than ever before, predicting your needs before you realise in some cases. With a huge stream of data about the car being generated (up to 25GB an hour), they’ll also be able to understand how your car is performing or how the car’s functions are being used. IoT will enable that data to be collected and shared easily and on a meaningful scale to improve performance.

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