IoT's Role in the Automotive Tech Revolution

By Ludovico Fassati, Head of IoT, Vodafone Americas

Ludovico Fassati, Head of IoT, Vodafone Americas

The automotive industry is in the middle of one of its biggest technological revolutions in a generation and it starts with the Internet of Things (IoT) and telematics. The IoT-connected car is enabling manufacturers and service providers to increase the amount of technology found within the vehicle. Consider the fact that GPS Navigation was once a premium feature packaged up within a car. Now, GPS maps are found in the palm of our hands while we’re talking about self-driving and self-parking cars that are already out on the road today. It’s a technological disruption that will only continue as innovations grow within the industry.

Yet, connected cars are about more than just driving and parking. Enhanced security features, including crash alert management, theft alert assistance and breakdown call and assistance need to lie at the heart of all telematics services.

Ultimately, connected telematics solutions are helping change the way vehicles act on the road while providing those within the automotive industry insights into their own vehicles. IoT enables the ability to monitor vehicles for safety factors, control costs by monitoring vehicle usage, increase fleet efficiency, and deliver a more responsive service to customers, enhancing the way drivers interact with other vehicles and the infrastructure around them. Doing so, not only disrupts the auto manufacturing market, but the markets related to automotive as well.

For example, let’s look at fleet management. By installing a simple black box within each fleet vehicle, fleet owners can gain access to a cost-effective, end-to-end solution that provides global IoT services and access to a management platform. The combination of platform and connectivity enables fleet owners to remotely track and monitor vehicles’ locations and conditions via extensive reporting and mapping. This makes a wide range of insights available for the accurate management of information about the entire fleet. Crash reconstruction, remote diagnostics, fuel consumption and driving behavior information captured via IoT provides owners with powerful details that ultimately help manage fleets and empower the responsible use of their vehicles.

Beyond IoT’s ability to disrupt how fleet owners manage their vehicles, IoT also creates new opportunities for insurers. IoT services open up the possibility for usage-based insurance (UBI), which uses IoT technology to capture detailed data from in-car services. This functionality allows insurers to set and adjust premiums based on driving behavior or mileage, rather than previous claim history or demographics alone, helping insurers tailor products and services for individual drivers.

While drivers may not like the idea of their every move being tracked, it can ultimately help them save money in the long-run while also improving vehicle safety and security. For example, if drivers understand their behavior on the road is being monitored and their insurance is priced based on their driving quality, they may refrain from aggressive driving scenarios, leading to a reduction in accidents. Further, connected technologies can also help insurers easily track and recover stolen vehicles.

Reliable, global connections through trusted service providers will be an important focus for the drivers, fleet managers and operators who are using connected services all over the world. Organizations will need to look for opportunities that enable end-to-end managed solutions — including all service components, from hardware to telematics infrastructure to service operations.

As this automotive technology revolution continues to forge on, IoT services will be among the leading solutions helping reshape the way we think about travel, and open up endless possibilities for the entire transportation industry — beyond just the self-driving and self-parking cars. Ultimately, IoT technology gives ambitious vehicle manufacturers, insurance companies and fleets a competitive edge.

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