Vehicles will need to ‘smarten up’ for Internet of Things

Cars of the future can’t continue to operate the way they do now.

And autonomous, or driverless, vehicles will be just part of it, according to a report by autocar.

“If this year’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona [Spain] is anything to go by, we’ll all soon be connected to something called the Internet of Things (IoT),” wrote Sam Sheehan.

Things like street lamps, traffic lights and other forms of transportation, including trains, buses and cars.

033116 SC Vehicles

“Over two-thirds of the world will be living in cities by the end of the next decade, and there are already more than a billion cars clogging our roads,” wrote Sheehan, referring to the sort of traffic that jams highways in every city in America during morning and evening rush hours, at least, and worldwide.

“If the private car is to remain a useful form of transport – and not just a metal box in which to sit in traffic – it’ll have to smarten up by connecting to what carmakers … are calling ‘mobility systems’.”

So far, few car companies have shown interest in the IoT, writes Sheehan, citing “insiders.” But they can’t ignore it for much longer, given the speed at which driverless car technology is developing.

Thilo Koslowski, a leading auto industry expert, is just such an insider, writing in 2013 that “this isn’t just an evolution of technology-enabled, connected vehicles. This goes beyond self-driving cars. And it’s more than a simple sensor network: This is the era of smart mobility – an Internet of Cars.”

“Basically, cars have become the ‘ultimate mobile device’ and we, the people, are becoming ‘connected drivers’,” Koslowski wrote in Forget the Internet of Things: Here comes the ‘Internet of Cars’ at Wired.

Technology research firm Gartner, where Koslowski is vice president and practice leader Automotive, Smart Mobility, Vehicle ICT (information and communication technology), has concluded that cars will be a “major element” of the expanding IoT, with 20 percent – one in five vehicles – having some sort of wireless network connection by 2020, just four years from now.

“The Internet of Things … is coming whether you like it or not,” Sheehan wrote, with some believing that tapping into mobility systems “will be essential to ensure the private car’s survival.”

How soon will you be ready to let go of the steering wheel and let your car plan the commute?

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