Ever since the Back to The Future movies made their way to the cinema halls, we have all been fancying about driverless cars, flying cars, teleporting cars and what not! From Google and Tesla to Uber and BMW, everyone’s working on a version of driverless cars. But what seems fancy in movies is a hundred times more complex in reality. For a self-driving car to cover a distance of 1 kilometre, the amount of data it records transmits and processes is phenomenal. However, advanced applications of IoT are slowly changing the scenarios. They are in fact arriving as game changers for the autonomous cars.
How? Read on.
One of the most fascinating aspects of IoT and data is that they offer predictive solutions. Most cars that roll out today (the high-end models in our country) are connected to the internet. Like we mentioned in one of our previous articles, they come with a smartphone app. Now the IoT infrastructure embedded in the car is connected to the manufacturing unit. What this does is constantly transmit and receive data on the quality and efficiency vehicle spare parts to give drivers a real-time notification on the precise time they would malfunction. This eliminates any instance of your car stopping at a highway at night.
To be more precise, some cars are also designed to place service orders to take care of the malfunctioning. If the car is an autonomous model, it is even designed to drive down to the service centre after dropping you at work, get serviced while you are still at work and arrive on time to pick you up and drop you back home.
Autonomous cars also coming with the incorporation of Machine Learning technology, which means that your car is constantly learning new things. If you didn’t know, a crash incident of a Tesla Sedan made the tech team back at the office fix algorithms for optimized auto-steering of the car when in autopilot and made the car recognize threats such as incoming vehicles, pedestrians, bumpy roads, and other hazards from a distance and take better driving decisions. One of the major reasons why the sedan crashed to a half-track was its inability to differentiate between the white truck and sunlight. With Machine Learning, it did and Tesla’s crash rate dropped by 40%.
IoT is not just disrupting the automobile industry but every other industry that it is associated with. The reduction in crash rates not just prove that autonomous cars are safer but are practically viable too. When there are fewer accidents on the road, what would significantly decrease are insurance premiums, wherein the insurance company would ultimately be the car manufacturer, who is taking care of the data from the backend. In a parallel universe, this would bring down the number of people who would own more than one car and prefer a carpooling model, where they could use one to travel to another place and get back home. With less private cars on the road, congestion decreases and so do emissions.
All these are the perks of autonomous cars and IoT in action. If every country wakes up to the importance of driverless cars and understands the benefits of them, traffic rules would be amended and newer policies would be made to accommodate the new machines. Just like how smartphones boomed in the last few years, the next few years may see autonomous cars becoming hot products as well.