People have been fiddling with IoT – the Internet of Things – for a while now. From smart homes to agriculture and fisheries, people have implemented this technology almost everywhere. And right now, they are doing their best to integrate it with cars, alongside artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
So what can we expect from this revolution? What are the pros and cons of embedding an IoT system into your car? Let us find out.
Real-Time Weather Updates
Say you are going from one town in Georgia to another. The temperature in Braselton, Ga, is a few degrees lower than in the town of Buford. Usually, for you to get that weather update, the weather data will first travel from the weather stations to the respective weather centers before they reach you.
With IoT-enabled systems, you can get the forecast instantly. Instead of retrieving data from the weather centers, the car will take it directly from the stations as long as the weather API is built-in. It can then report whether it is going to rain or be sunny, update you about the air quality, and provide more information about the climate. Although modern weather APIs are fast, a direct communication system also helps.
Real-Time Traffic Updates
Real-time traffic updates work just like the weather updates. Instead of weather radar data, however, this IoT system uses data retrieved from other cars or even traffic signals. The cars talk to each other in this situation, giving you live updates regarding the traffic situation. Unlike Google Maps, which uses GPS data to understand where there is a large cluster of stationary cars, IoT-based traffic updates take data directly from the cars. That means it is possible to get a good idea about the exact number of cars or vehicles on a certain stretch of road.
Car-to-Car Communication for Accident Prevention
The car-to-car communication we see in the case of traffic updates is also utilized for preventing road accidents. Cars already have collision avoidance systems built into them. These systems use laser radars and sensors but can only detect vehicles up to a certain range. Hence, it is not a system that will fit all situations.
With an IoT-based collision avoidance system, however, the cars are continuously talking to each other via the internet. They are keeping one-another updated about their speed, position, and each turn. Hence, such systems are more reliable as the range is not that big of a factor here, since they are communicating over the internet.
Cars Will Require More Processing Power
Given the huge volume of data from other objects as well as their own sensors, and the need to process them in real-time, cars will require a lot of processing power. As a result, these IoT-enabled cars will turn out to be more costly compared to standard cars.
Will Not Work Everywhere
For IoT-enabled cars to work properly, continuous network connectivity is a must. Sadly, a lot of developing and least developed countries do not have the infrastructure to support such systems, especially in their rural areas. Hence, these IoT-based cars will only work in urban areas or where there is constant network connectivity.
Increased Power Consumption
With all the onboard sensors, network devices, and high-end processors, it is easy to see that these cars will consume more power than regular cars. That would be a problem, especially for electric cars, since these things can chew up the batteries very fast. Of course, work is in progress to get more energy-efficient sensors and processors, but that will take some time.
As the car is constantly receiving feeds from different sources, it is being exposed to a lot of security threats. Anyone that can gain access to the car can not only steal sensitive information but can also gain remote control over it. That would be a scary thing to happen, something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Not to mention, security breaches can feed the sensors false information, which can also cause accidents without anyone’s knowledge.
With all these pros and cons, it makes people wonder whether or not an IoT-enabled car is actually the way to go. Of course, as long as the security risks are avoided and more energy-efficient sensors and processors are used, such cars could be the future of our automotive industry.