Connected vehicles enable multi-faceted aspects that relate to urban transportation, safety and well-being of occupants, driver behaviour monitoring, fleet management and longevity of vehicle systems through monitoring of component functioning in various environmental conditions. The connectivity in vehicles helps connect holistically the lifestyle of the owner of a vehicle.
These technologies were in a nascent stage over a decade ago and vehicle manufacturers were using basic telematics techniques to connect the dots. The connectivity between vehicles and network monitoring stations has improved due to the bandwidth of communication, sensors & electronics, software tools and multiple protocols for communication with a multitude of service providers.
Connected vehicles are a major building block in the foundation of Smart Cities and are networked exhaustively, flowing freely as electrons would in the fabric, in order to provide an efficient lifestyle, energy saving and cleaner environment. Through vehicle connectivity, traffic can be monitored and regulated, which in turn reduces vehicle emissions. Parking spots can be identified, in advance, to direct vehicles and reduce congestion road rage & conserving fuel. All these add up to improving the environment for inner city dwellers and reducing medical expenses for the tax payer.
Fleet management (FM) services and car-pooling have the greatest impetus due to vehicle connectivity. FM systems have the ability to monitor multiples of hundreds of vehicles across large geographic regions. The sorting of data and sequencing ability has improved through better data analytics tools and processes. The analytics’ techniques have evolved towards higher speed of analysis and provide a lot more intelligence in decision making. FM is a major source for gathering valuable data for regulators, policy makers and component manufacturers.
FM is used exhaustively for data gathering during product development phase to understand functionality, usability patterns and driving characteristics that affect reliability and robustness of components and systems. This has been possible through vehicle connectivity and has resulted in reducing product development time resulting in better speed to market. There is valuable data that is integrated in virtual engineering for upstream decision making and design. FM through connectivity has been the key enabler in this process. Lately, connected tyres have been installed and networked to make communication between vehicles simpler and more effective.
CONNECTIVITY AS AN ENABLER
From a safety perspective, service providers and security agencies have benefited the consumers because of connected vehicles. The emergency responders can be reached instantaneously in case of a security situation and the need of any caller. The secure networks and bandwidths for such communication are a necessity, and connectivity platforms have helped provide this ability.
Autonomous driving, the latest development, is dependent on vehicle connectivity. The car-pooling trend has exponentially grown in the recent past and is, again dependent on vehicle connectivity. The deployment of autonomous driving is due to the growing footprint of the aggressively growing ecosystem. The innovations and consumer demands have catapulted the research and deployment of pilot fleets of autonomous vehicles. Digitalisation is another big building block of the entire ecosystem of vehicle connectivity. OEMs across the board have leveraged digitalisation in conjunction and the efficiencies it offers to consumers and sustainability of business.
The large scale deployment of connected vehicles and their connectivity has enhanced the quality of consumer lifestyles. The stakeholders’ interests and participation has made connectivity ecosystems a part of daily lifestyle, whether it is for the consumer, software support, big-data, communication networks, systems’ providers, health providers, OEMs, governments and many others. Irrespective of it being V2V, or Vehicle to FM or Vehicle to Home, the ecosystem of an automobile and its driver has positively expanded sustainable mobility solutions.