How vehicles are leading the way in an increasingly connected future

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Our world is becoming more connected every day, with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) advancing rapidly, bringing innovations every step of the way. Mobility is central as one of the main beneficiaries of this progress.

In a sea of ​​smart home devices and internet of things (IoT) solutions, smart mobility developments such as connected vehicle data (CVD) are among the most promising as they provide a tangible vision not only for the future of cars, but also for urban infrastructure, retail, global supply chains and everything in between.

How can connected vehicle data have such a big impact? First, let’s identify what this data is, where it comes from, and what it does today.

How does connected vehicle data work?

Unless you drive vintage, chances are your car is already capable of extracting valuable information and results of its own accord that serve a vital function for drivers and society at large. This information ranges from brake data to engine run times to specific traffic patterns, providing a comprehensive picture of vehicle performance, driving behavior and how a unique traffic flow is feeding these individual inputs.

Connected cars are born from the use of this data, which is sent directly from any vehicle to their automaker. The data is then analyzed by internal or external data scientists to communicate insights and valuable real-time adjustments for traffic flow and much more.

This all sounds like quite an impactful technology, but there is still a lot of ground to cover for the average person to feel its effects in their daily lives (both on the road and off their vehicle). The most common setback today? Most automakers do not share the same data languages, leaving petabytes of data that cannot be understood by the entire market for greater benefits.

Awareness of the benefits of CVD analytics is already growing – and so is the pool of connected vehicles informing automakers, governments and brick-and-mortar businesses. At Wejo alone, we have collected and analyzed data points from more than 66.8 billion journeys from approximately 12 million active connected vehicles.

wider, statistic reports that there will already be 84 million connected cars on U.S. roads by 2021, and that number is expected to rise to 305 million by 2035. This exponential growth in raw data output will require exponentially larger supporting infrastructure, but would require an exponentially larger day – daily benefits within the same time frame.

What are the advantages?

Today we see the microcosm of a connected on-road experience worldwide. From state departments of transportation to traffic management companies, connected vehicle data already offers a variety of use cases and benefits, including:

  • Less congestion during peak hours thanks to optimized timing of traffic lights with real-time updates based on the flow of vehicles in different parts of a city’s roads.
  • Increased safety and lower risk of accidents arising from communication between connected cars and cloud communication services that can inform drivers about existing accidents and potential risks, such as road works, fallen trees and more.
  • reduced emissions, directly from easing traffic and consequently reducing journey times and the number of vehicles idling at any given time.
  • Opportunities for greater company visibility based on data showing peak times through specific corridors, allowing companies to adjust their opening hours or advertising strategies to reach the greatest number of drivers during the day.

Connected vehicle data also forms the basis for the development of more forward-looking technologies such as: autonomous vehicles (AV) and electric vehicles (EV) that will lead to greater benefits for drivers in the future. For example, machine learning systems today are hard at work making vehicle AI smarter and more adaptable to unique situations on the road.

In the field of electrification, range and charging infrastructure have long been a pain point for worried consumers. Connected vehicle data allows automakers and charging providers to customize vehicle design elements and charging locations to optimize energy consumption for more efficient travel.

Looking forward

Virtually every new car today is a connected car, contributing to a larger network of connected devices and machines that will change (for the better) the way we live our lives in the near future. What will this look like?

First, the vehicles we use will become increasingly intelligent and software definedtake advantage of advanced vehicle architectures and edge computing capabilities to make every journey safer, less stressful and more sustainable. From complex sensors that monitor the vehicle and its environment to new powertrains and in-vehicle experiences, connectivity and connected vehicle data will support these advances.

Smart mobility, and in particular connected vehicles, will have far-reaching effects beyond the driver’s seat of a car. Combined with emerging innovations that would otherwise remain siled in certain verticals, we may soon see a vast ecosystem where connected vehicles are making our cities smarter, our businesses more profitable, and our travels more convenient, safer and more enjoyable.

Sarah Larner is the executive vice president of strategy and innovation at Wejo

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