31 May 22

What are the top innovations of the future connected car?

When trying to imagine the world of connectivity, it wouldn't be wrong to expect sci-fi movie-like scenes: IoT devices on your EV convey the charging status to your toast machine while you're having breakfast. Your windshield acts as a 3D map during driving, and your family tracks your movement on the map while watching smart TV.

Above is just a tiny glimpse of the future where connectivity will imbue electric vehicles and smart cities with several futuristic technologies. These advancements, listed below, will also begin a new era in fleet management, where big data, connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI) emerge as the main pillars.

5G: The fifth-generation mobile network technology will enable superfast communication with minimum latency and increase networks' data flow capacity 100 times more than 4G. Thus, 5G can help 1 million devices connect in an area as small as 1km2, paving the path for intelligent traffic systems with billions of data points. 

IoT: From the telematics devices on connected vehicles to the dashboards fed by advanced fleet management systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the skeleton of the connected ecosystem of the future. According to Statista, there will be 75 billion IoT devices by 2025, only reflecting the vast traffic networks of the 2030s. IoT offers many critical advantages for fleets, including fuel use optimisation, preventative maintenance and route optimisation. 

Big Data: Big data allows fleet managers to make the right decisions about daily operations, such as driver performance and behaviour, vehicle condition, asset and driver locations, route information, fuel use, preventative maintenance, and so on.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI is at the core of extensive data analysis, bringing data analytics to new levels and unleashing innovations to further fleet efficiency. Machine Learning (ML), representing the cream of big data, is the next step in achieving fleet efficiency by creating customised fleet management systems for fleets. 

Over-the-air (OTA): OTA enables connected vehicles to receive software updates over the air via mobile networks, eliminating the time needed for technical maintenance. 

Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS): Among the new mobility solutions, MaaS is a constantly growing industry that helps fleets improve efficiency and reduce costs by enabling feasible transportation options. 

Automated Vehicles (AVs): According to Berg Insight, 71 million self-driving cars will be on the roads by 2030. From food delivery robots in public spaces to driverless trucks, automated vehicles will offer better fuel efficiency, lower maintenance costs and better optimised fleet operations and improved safety. 

Drones: Drones will revolutionise last-mile delivery by enabling fleets to deliver critical goods and supplies to remote areas and save the day in emergencies. Drones will also help fleets eliminate congestion at all times. 

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G): V2G systems will enable the power bank potential of EVs, enabling them to transfer excess energy to the grid when needed and get charged during off-peak times. EVs can also charge hardware in homes and businesses, allowing cost-efficiency. 

3D Printing: Instead of wasting days in a repair shop, future fleets will download the parts to be replaced and print them without needing a delivery. 3D printed EV fleets will also significantly reduce operating costs. 

Virtual Reality (VR): VR headsets will become the best tools for driver training one day, eliminating all the complex processes of adopting EVs. On the other hand, augmented reality (AR) technology will improve advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and safety features of connected fleet vehicles, displaying navigation and notifications in the driver's field of view. 

Blockchain: Representing a decentralised network, blockchain doesn't rely on a central point of control while offering high security and transparency, allowing all parties on a blockchain to monitor transactions. The secure storage and transfer of information will enable fleets and OEMs to track vehicle and asset movements, improving the safety of supply chains. Additionally, fleets can make digital payments for fuel and maintenance. One other bonus is smart contracts, which eliminate fraud thanks to the transparency of the blockchain.Advances in the vehicle connectivity

Vehicle connectivity: The integration of 5G, IoT and cloud technologies will activate new potentials of connected cars, significantly enhancing their data-producing and sharing abilities: 

  • Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) will allow cars to relay information on road conditions, congestion and weather while enabling notification of other incidents between vehicles. 
  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2:I) will enable cars to communicate with the road network and cities, allowing them to be redirected around roadworks and set the best route to avoid congestion and hazards. 
  • Vehicle-to-X (V2X) allows vehicles to communicate with any smart device, using the internet or a dedicated radio frequency, thus increasing the navigation and real-time alert systems. 

These connected and digital technology innovations will build the future's fast and efficient transport, logistics and supply networks. In years, ordering a modular battery pack via a drone delivery may become a usual feat.

Images: Shutterstock

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen