The transportation sector is always evolving to offer safer, faster, cleaner and more comfortable commutes. The next significant industry changet is at hand, and IoT is leading this shift. The potential of IoT is encouraging a wave of smart vehicles and connected infrastructure. The global smart transportation market could reach $262 billion by 2025, due to the value of IoT in vehicles. However, the benefits don’t end at financial success for car manufacturers. It’s improving nearly every aspect of the industry by boosting more than just the financial aspect of the manufacturers.
Benefits of IoT for Transportation
Some wider benefits that apply to the use of IoT technology within the transportation sector include:
1. Enhance Customer Experience
IoT technologies help to provide customers with more accurate, up-to-date, real-time data to better plan journeys and improve communication.
2. Improved Safety
The ability to track things such as train speeds, aircraft part conditions, roadway temperatures and the number of vehicles at an intersection using IoT enabled technology can all help to improve the safety of our transit systems worldwide.
3. Operational Performance
Transport Agencies adopting IoT technologies are already starting to see benefits in terms of operational performance. Cities can better monitor critical infrastructures and develop efficient processes to minimise operating costs and improve system capacity.
4. Environmental Improvements
By better monitoring congestion, IoT enabled systems can react quickly to evolving traffic patterns and return real-time data to help people to plan their journeys better. Reducing congestion and energy usage have a positive impact on the environment.
Applications of IoT technology in transportation
These benefits of IoT technology in transportation can be applied through a number of applications within the sector. Here are some of the most common applications:
One of the most promising features of IoT in transportation is its potential for safety. Smart transportation using IoT would consist of cars that can communicate with one another. This would improve assisted driving features while keeping drivers safe.
With IoT-fueled communication, vehicles will have real-time data on where everything including cars, bikes, signals, etc on the road is. This information would then enable cars to brake or turn whenever necessary to avoid a collision. Assisted driving features are already present in many vehicles, but IoT’s interconnectivity would make them more accurate.
This connectivity is also the key to driverless cars. If a vehicle can connect to other cars and infrastructure around it, it could navigate more effectively. Without IoT, safe and reliable self-driving cars wouldn’t be possible.
Roading is by far the biggest segment within transportation when it comes to the adoption of IoT technologies and this is expected to grow as we head towards 2023. Within cities, data can be collected from CCTV feeds which transmit vehicle-related data to traffic management centres. Applications using IoT technology include:
· Smart parking
· Traffic lights
· Smart accident assistance
Toll and Ticketing
Conventional toll systems are becoming rapidly outdated. With the increase in vehicles on the roads, queues at toll booths have become a common sight, not to mention the manpower needed to operate toll booths on busy highways. Whilst automated tolls, using a RFID tag, have improved the flow of traffic, further improvements have been made possible by the use of IoT technology.
Many of today’s modern vehicles are equipped with IoT connectivity. A vehicle can be detected up to a kilometre away from a tolling station, correctly identified and the barrier lifted for the vehicle to pass through. Alternatively, for older vehicles, a registered smartphone could serve the same purpose, taking automatic payment from the digital wallet linked on the phone.
The improved navigation offered by IoT is useful to human drivers, too. Many people rely on GPS navigation, and IoT devices in vehicles could make these systems even more helpful. Cross-car communication would allow navigation systems to account for real-time changes, like blockages or traffic jams and allow the driver to act on it.
GPS systems can be slow to adapt to traffic changes, but IoT navigation offers real-time feedback. Hazards along a route can change in an instant, so drivers need a powerful navigation system to avoid them. This application helps people get to their destination quicker and improves safety.
Fluid navigation is especially helpful to services like environmental waste transport. Traffic accidents are a leading cause of spillage, so these drivers need to avoid risky traffic situations. IoT navigation can help them steer clear of congested areas or spots with high accident rates.
Have you ever had your oil changed and come back with a high repair bill? If yes, you know the importance of frequent vehicle maintenance. Many drivers don’t know when they should get a car checkup or what to look for in car maintenance, and IoT can help with that.
IoT-based predictive maintenance improves traditional approaches by highlighting immediate repair needs. IoT devices in cars could measure the performance of different parts of the vehicle. It could then alert the driver when something needs attention.
This immediate feedback lets drivers make repairs before more significant problems occur. With the data from these devices, car manufacturers could also see if there are any common issues in their vehicles. They could then use this information to make necessary changes in the upcoming vehicles and create more reliable cars in the future.
Ridesharing is one of the most disruptive changes the transportation sector has undergone in recent years. With increased IoT use in transportation, it could grow even further. IoT makes ridesharing safer and more convenient for both the company and the passengers.
Functional ridesharing depends on IoT. The system wouldn’t work very well if passengers couldn’t check the location of their ride on the app. However, as ridesharing includes items like scooters and bicycles, companies need some built-in IoT devices, not just in the phones.
A broader IoT network means better vehicle tracking for passengers as well as providers. Improved IoT devices also bring the benefit of monitoring factors like fuel levels, ture monitoring and overall performance. With this data, companies could ensure passengers always get vehicles at their peak performance levels.
Widespread IoT integration in transportation is also valuable to fleet owners. Any company that owns or operates a fleet needs to know the location of their vehicles and how they’re running. IoT devices provide a solution to this problem.
The most obvious application for IoT in fleet management is vehicle tracking and monitoring. With smart transportation, owners could see where their trucks are in real-time. These devices can track and report more than just locations, for example, fuel status, number of stops, as well as overall vehicle performance.
IoT devices offer advantages like weather analytics to help drivers account for potential disturbance. Fuel economy tracking would help the fleet managers monitor routine expenses like gas and repairs and keep a track on the drivers. These features help businesses save money and offer faster deliveries to customers.
Public Transport Management
IoT technologies in the public transport segment can hugely support smart transportation. The solutions can encompass integrated ticketing, passenger information systems, advanced logistics solutions, and more.
IoT technology for connected public transport system can extend to:
· Personalized travel information — here, one can track and monitor commuter behavior and travel patterns to deliver personalized information.
For example, Dash Technologies works on a technology that monitors driving habits. Plus, it offers inputs via the mobile app on fuel efficiency, pinpoints necessary repairs, and more.
· Real-time vehicle tracking — can help communicate with commuters and offer accurate arrival times through mobile devices and passenger information displays at transit stops and stations
· Real-time management — the technology can help monitor progress in real-time and make adjustments for unpredicted incidents such as accidents, emergencies, roadworks, and more to help re-route and make travel more efficient.
Let’s look at an example. Oklahoma-based, Motolingo uses telematics technology that performs safety and efficiency functions.
The technology records driving timing on a user’s smartphone, adjusting acceleration and braking for real-time feedback, calculating risks through smartphone GPS.
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Fybr’s smart parking meters employ below-ground sensors that determine whether or not a car is parked in any given spot, along with that spot’s exact location. The driver can then pay for the spot via the company’s smartphone app. If the allotted time expires and isn’t extended, an alert is sent to city parking enforcement personnel.
Industry impact: Fybr partnered with SMC Labs to use IoT technology for parking, irrigation management, air quality and asset management in two Silicon Valley “innovation zones.”
· MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Location: Miami, Florida
How it’s using IoT in transportation: The Miami airport’s vast network of beacons link with a mobile app so people can do everything from get directions and flight updates to shop and scan boarding passes
Industry impact: When it began its program in 2014, Miami International was the first airport in the world to have complete and open beacon deployment. Four years later the practice is much more common at airports and other venue
IoT has already made its mark in the world of transportation and the change towards its transformation has begun. While driverless cars may seem a distant dream, the implementation of sensors, safety features, real-time updates etc have already started and are being used at the full-scale in many parts of the world. The technology will continue to enhance the industry and constantly make it better.
IoT for Transportation is a rapidly growing sector and the benefits of utilising IoT technology are wide and varied. There are of course potential drawbacks to the use of IoT technology — security is an issue that can’t be overlooked, with cyber-criminals targeting IoT devices. Adding more IoT devices to a network can increase the vulnerability of that network so security needs to be at the heart of any decision around the adoption of IoT technology.
The future of the transportation industry is an exciting one, embracing new technologies and helping to deliver a vastly improved customer experience. We’re excited to be a part of it.
Authors: Sairam Rathod, Laxmiputra Salokhe, Yash Soni, Ashutosh Taide.
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