There has been a lot of buzz lately about how the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform our lives. Our vehicles will become an essential part of the IoT, leading some to use the term, “Internet of Cars.”
Apple, Google and Microsoft have each developed connected car platforms, bringing smartphone-like functionality to our vehicles. Vehicles are adding more and more sensors to collect data. While many of today’s IoT-connected vehicle innovations are centered around infotainment, the future promises much more.
Here are some of the ways we expect the IoT to change vehicle ownership in the near future:
- When an accident occurs: Being involved in an accident is never pleasant and can sometimes be life-changing. However, some IoT technologies could improve the post-accident experience. With features like instant crash notification, advanced sensors detect when a crash has occurred, alerting a call center, which then reaches out to the consumer and notifies emergency personnel if needed.
- Safe driving: Telematics is a GPS-based technology to track the location, movement and behavior of vehicles. Today, it’s mainly used by fleets and other businesses. But as more consumer vehicles are equipped with telematics systems in the future, it will open up more opportunities to encourage and incentivize safer driving. For example, we could see a scenario where features of commercial telematics systems – i.e. tracking behaviors like speeding, swerving dangerously, or hard braking – could be used to determine whether a consumer is using safe driving habits. We could also see insurers develop usage-based insurance offerings where safe drivers are rewarded with lower rates. Families and friends could even compete against each other for better driving scores, similar to how they compete today with fitness tracking apps.
- Better vehicle maintenance: In-vehicle sensors will be able to track how various parts and components are performing. Alerts could then be sent to the vehicle owner, and the dealer who sold the vehicle, that maintenance or repairs are needed. The vehicle owner can schedule an appointment to have the vehicle checked out, or the dealer can send them a reminder, helping to avoid a breakdown.
- Even better vehicle tracking: GPS technologies can send you an alert if your vehicle is moved (if it’s stolen or towed). This alert gives police a better chance of recovering your vehicle, in the unfortunate event that it was stolen. In addition, for peace of mind, you can be notified when a family member arrives at their destination, or if a vehicle has left a virtual geographical boundary.
The IoT has unlimited potential to change the vehicle ownership experience. As one of the original IoT companies, LoJack is excited about what the future holds, especially around innovations that make driving safer, convenient and secure.