IoT And Smart Cars: Changing The World For The Better

Ioana Sima

The world we once thought was fictional is becoming a reality. Almost anything we want will someday be available at the touch of our fingertips, and a push of a few buttons could replace hours of work or even eliminate our worries. The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to enable these changes and drive us into the next age of efficiency. Tasks that were once time-consuming and perhaps dangerous, or that required precise calculations, will be turned over to our devices.

The IoT will hit all aspects of our lives, and transportation is no exception. From the average citizen’s car to trucks carrying heavy loads, standards will change, and the world along with it. The rise of self-driving cars, controlled through Wi-Fi, smartphones, and technology smartly crafted by the manufacturers, is close at hand.

It has been estimated that 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020, with companies such as Tesla, BMW, Chevrolet, and Mercedes leading the charge. Time formerly spent driving and parking will add valuable hours to our days, offering benefits to major industries around the world.

This also means responsibilities will shift. Manufacturers will need to perfect self-driving technology to a point of perfection, and the IoT will integrate a level of control that will make our lives easier, faster, and more efficient.

It’s estimated that we will gain an extra 50 minutes per day simply by relinquishing all driving-related tasks to the vehicle. That means more time to work, catch up on reading, talk to your family, watch a movie, enjoy a meal, or anything other than enduring the frustration of a traffic jam.

A safer, faster, and cleaner world

By 2020, there will be 250 million IoT-connected cars on the world’s streets, which will cut down on traffic accidents solely due to the multitude of eternally aware sensors and smart apps. Vehicles will avoid collisions by communicating their position on the road to each other. Furthermore, maintaining perfect spacing between vehicles will ease traffic congestion.

This shortened gap could potentially save 90 billion hours per year from traffic jams that currently waste $1 trillion on fuel, generate a whopping 220 million metric tons of hazardous carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air, and damage productivity. It will ease the stress of commuting to work, driving children to school, or running errands. In fact, with time and further advancement, the smart car could even be sent off on its own, remotely controlled and monitored from afar.

Combined with sensors in parking spaces, smart technology will also cut down on fuel costs, spacing, and time. Locations of available parking spots will be sent in real time to nearby vehicles, enabling drivers to check availability in advance. About 30% of traffic congestion is caused by drivers searching for a parking space, which smart technology and IoT will swiftly eliminate.

Each year, 1.3 million people are killed in traffic accidents. A full 90% of these are caused by human error, which is often sparked by physical and emotional factors such as stress, fatigue, recklessness, or distracted driving. Smart cars will eliminate this human factor. Vehicles connected and controlled by apps and sensors will be permanently alert and responsive to changing conditions.

However, perfecting self-driving technology will take time, and when it will be achieved is an open question. Accidents inevitably happen with any technology, so it remains to be seen how driverless cars will change the insurance industry. It’s possible that the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of manufacturers. “Human error” coverage will change to “technical failure,” causing companies to alter their goals. Partnerships will need to be forged between insurance firms and manufacturers to ensure smoother protocols and safer roads.

It’s estimated that smart car technology will be most highly disruptive around the middle of the century, but eventually the world will adapt and reap the benefits that can only come from modernizing and improving the technology that will change our world for the better.

For more on connected cars, see Beyond Smart Cars: Smart Car Production.


Ioana Sima

About Ioana Sima

Ioana Sima is an architecture student at Ion Mincu University of Architecture, CMO of DigitalWebProperties, coffee lover, and avid gamer. Despite my academic background, I decided to pursue a career in digital marketing. Why? Because it's thrilling, fascinating, and unpredictable. My goal is to contribute to the creation of something truly meaningful & to grow professionally. Follow me on Twitter if you enjoy gaming, dank memes, and digital marketing.