IoT fleet management
Photo Source:

Internet of Things has made its presence felt in almost every industry and transportation is no exception. IoT in transportation can help us track vehicles and people, connect infrastructure and make transport work better. The Internet, along with mobile applications, increased communication and technology such as data collection, cell-phone triangulation, machine-to-machine communication, cloud computing, etc., the potential to revolutionize transportation is high.

Let us look at some ways IoT can change transportation:

  • Cars will be Connected

Imagine if you could make changes to your car just like your smartphone, by changing its exterior or interior appearance at will or you could just sit relaxed in the car while it takes you to your destination on its own. Sounds like a dream? Well, it’s not. Internet of Things will make all that possible in the near future. We already have connected systems that allow the drivers to connect their smartphones and use various apps, navigate the roads, listen to satellite radio, request roadside assistance, find open parking spaces, remotely lock/unlock the doors and view streaming videos. IoT will also make driverless and autonomous cars possible, where the passengers can socialize, relax or even work in the car without driving it. Autonomous cars can reduce road accidents and lower the energy consumption.

  • Automobiles as Sensors

Sensors have been implemented in automobiles, which enable them to achieve several tasks. Some sense acceleration and braking of the automobile which helps in conserving fuel and reducing maintenance costs, some sensors along with mobile apps help in diagnosing the engine problems and display travel logs. However, since sensors are becoming quite affordable and are capable of achieving bigger tasks, there will come a time when automobiles will become sensors themselves. They can help you in identifying empty spaces in a parking lot, give important alerts, etc. Automobiles as sensors would be able to gather data and make accurate predictions for weather. By connecting all the sensors on automobiles to IoT, vehicles can communicate with each other, collect data off each other and store it in the cloud infrastructure, which can further be used and analyzed by businesses.

  • Infrastructure will be Connected

IoT will allow one to create connections amongst different vehicles, and between the vehicle and transportation infrastructure. Connected infrastructure will bring in several benefits. If there is heavy traffic or an accident on a route, you will be notified of the same. You will also be notified if an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance is on the way so that vehicles can get out of the way to enable it to reach the accident site as quickly as possible. By connecting transportation infrastructure, IoT can create a coordinated system which can map how people can get to their destinations safely and on time.

In the case of an accident, the sensors on the vehicle will send an alert to nearby vehicles, allowing them to take an alternate route. One of the benefits you enjoy now because of IoT is through Google Maps which shows the severity of traffic on any route through colors. IoT will bring in more benefits in the future for transportation. According to Morgan Stanley, IoT in transportation could save approximately 30,000 lives and avoid 2.12 million injuries each year.

IoT would support innovation in the transportation industry. We should harness the power of IoT but, unfortunately, the adoption rate of IoT in transportation is still quite low. However, this will change soon and we will see IoT being incorporated into vehicles, which would greatly impact the industry and present new opportunities that seemed impossible a few years back.