Auto Data Drives Car Makers' Strategies

Create: 09/23/2015 - 13:00

All the data that is collected by automotive devices connected via the Internet of Things is worthless unless it's acted upon. A recently announced cloud-based service from IBM aims to help automakers turn driver and vehicle data into actionable insights that will enable predictive vehicle maintenance, real-time diagnostics on engine trouble, and selection of the most efficient traffic routes. It makes sense that connected cars provide information that can drive up automakers' bottomlines significantly.

By 2020, 90 percent of new cars will be equipped with extensive connectivity services, according to Connected Car Industry Report. Entrenched automotive industry practices and processes are being changed by the IoT, and such change is being driven by the impact that customers -- who fully embrace technology and demand innovation, particularly in their vehicles-- are having of car makers. Therefore, automotive manufacturers, fleet operators and dealers must stay current with the latest technologies to capitalize on the business value that may result from earning customer loyalty.

The various automakers are in different places in their strategies. The current focus is on safety and convenience, to let, for example, passengers and drivers make emergency calls or listen to streaming music services. Automakers are now to not only using IoT technologies to enable those actions, but are also using the information from the vehicle to transform the relationship with the customer as well as improve operational efficiency.

To make the most of that connectivity, automakers are increasingly using IoT solutions that help to securely deliver data generated from cars directly to the cloud for near real-time analysis. IBM’s Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive solution, built on the recently announced IBM IoT Foundation, assists automotive manufacturers collect information from sensors that can be combined with other data for real-time analysis. The service provides driver, vehicle and environmental insights through analytics, using vehicle and geolocation data collected from the car. It also delivers new insights from third-party data, such as from parking providers, as well as an automotive manufacturer’s customer data and vehicle history. 

Automotive supplier Continental uses IBM MessageSight and IBM InfoSphere Streams, components of the IBM IoT for Automotive solution, to help manage complex data streams and apply analytics to its eHorizon solution, which allows vehicle electronics to anticipate road conditions using digital mapping and crowd sourced data.

“The number of connected devices continues to grow at an extraordinary rate, and we are constantly on the lookout to use the data generated from those devices in a meaningful way,” said Brian Droessler, Head of Software and Connected Solutions, Continental Infotainment and Connectivity Business Unit. 

“With the significant increase in connected cars, automotive manufacturers have the ability to take near-real time data and put it to good use for drivers in a variety of ways -- from finding the nearest parking space and most efficient route, to maintenance alerts that help drivers expect the unexpected,” said Dirk Wollschlaeger, General Manager, Global Automotive Industry, IBM, in a statement.


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Jennifer Bosavage

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