Paul Ryabchuk
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How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Explore how the Internet of Things (IoT) is about to make a connectivity revolution in the automotive industry

September 13, 2018

8 mins read

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are transforming our lives in a tremendous way. Today, users of IoT devices can evaluate engine performance, control air temperature, and measure physical health indicators with only a few clicks. Picture this: by 2020 there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices in use. Automotive companies and related businesses can no longer afford to ignore the significance of IoT for automotive development.

By 2020, there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices in operation.

Conventional perceptions of the automotive industry are radically changing with IoT development. Predictive maintenance, Wi-Fi capabilities powered by 3G/4G/5G functionality, Car2Car connectivity, and advanced fleet management are only a few examples of how IoT-based solutions are shaping the new automotive age. If you’re eager to find your place, take a thorough look at how the automotive industry and IoT are changing the business.

Complex IoT-based technologies deal with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity devices. Sophisticated algorithms and the pace with which IoT and automotive technologies develop might scare you at first glance. But there’s no need to worry. Being at the forefront of the industry’s rapid transformations, Intellias experts know exactly what to expect from the extensive use of IoT in the automotive industry — and how you can capitalize on it.

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Everything you need to know about IoT

The term Internet of Things (IoT) refers to billions of physical devices connected to the internet. IoT devices can collect, share, and exchange data with other connected devices or databases. Wireless technology lies at the core of IoT-based digital intelligence, enabling all kinds of devices to communicate and operate without human involvement. In fact, almost any physical object can be considered an IoT device as soon as it’s connected to the internet.

IoT units installed base by category (millions of units)

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Source: Gartner

As the cost of adding sensors and wireless connections to objects decreases, the number of IoT sensors for automotive devices grows. At first, the largest share of the world’s IoT devices were applied in manufacturing to reduce human involvement and production costs. Today, consumer use of IoT devices substantially outpaces both cross-industry and vertical-specific use of IoT devices in business.

Five IoT technologies that are changing the automotive industry

The automobile industry is one of the fastest-growing markets for IoT-based solutions. By 2020, more than 250 million cars are expected to be connected. The number of installed connectivity units in vehicles is likely to increase by 67% over the next two years, and consumer spending on in-vehicle connectivity is expected to double by the end of the decade. Drivers around the globe expect their vehicles to become smartphones on wheels, and IoT is already proving car connectivity to be the most promising futuristic technology.

The number of installed connectivity units in vehicles is likely to increase by 67% between 2018 and 2020.

Contact our experts and take advantage of opportunities brought by the intersection of IoT and automotive technologies
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Prevent expensive repairs with predictive maintenance technology

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Predictive maintenance technology is based on the use of IoT connectivity tools that collect data on the performance of different parts, transfer that data to the cloud in real time, and evaluate the risks of potential malfunction of a car’s hardware or software. After information is processed, a driver is notified and advised of any necessary service or repair to avoid potential incidents.

Predictive maintenance can facilitate vehicle use by both private owners and dealerships with large fleets of vehicles. It enables end users to get the right information in advance. With IoT connectivity tools, you can forget about unplanned stops or breakdowns during the ride.

How it works with your battery

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Predictive maintenance technology is closely linked with machine learning algorithms. These algorithms are remarkably effective at monitoring things such as battery life. Here’s how it works:

  • An in-car monitoring system checks the battery status
  • Data is transferred to the cloud
  • A machine learning algorithm predicts whether the battery will run low
  • The system processes all inputs and prepares advice for the driver
  • A notification system sends a message to the driver warning them about low battery charge

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

The general predictive maintenance algorithm goes as follows:

  • An in-vehicle monitoring system collects data from the motor starter, fuel pump, and battery
  • Data is transmitted to a cloud server
  • The cloud server predicts potential maintenance issues
  • Recommendations are delivered to the driver via a connected device
Read more: Learn how Intellias built a comprehensive monitoring system for car diagnostics and real-time notifications for drivers

Stay tuned with IoT-enabled updates

The trend is clear: cars are becoming software- and data-centric, and you can hardly overestimate the role of over-the-air (OTA) software updates and data platforms. Using data platforms, vehicles can receive feature updates, software upgrades, safety improvements, bug fixes, and map and traffic updates. Perhaps you’ve heard of the recently released open-source OTA Connect by HERE that’s designed to integrate into an automaker’s backend servers. IoT solutions like this are what make the boldest connectivity ideas reality.

OTA advantages

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Automatic updates for connected cars enable millions of drivers to get flexible map updates, 3D mapping, and a bunch of extended driver assistance features. The rapid development of technology also transforms the legal requirements of automotive manufacturers.

Worldwide adoption of the Navigation Data Standard (NDS) for IoT-enabled automotive navigation has forced many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and automotive vendors to reconsider the formats and standards they use. To comply with this standard, many manufacturers and vendors have needed to redesign map production pipelines and related software development tools and also provide OTA updates for users to install new maps remotely.

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Read more: Learn how Intellias implemented a trusted over-the-air map update that opened new business opportunities in the IoT market

IoT holds big promise for fleet management

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

The truck transportation segment is sometimes unfairly disregarded by industry analysts and automotive-related businesses. Yet you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that the segment is becoming a laboratory for the boldest tech ideas. Radical transformations and challenges, including mass turnover, are forcing OEMs and developers to implement innovations in logistics immediately.

Probably the best proof is Tesla’s Semi projects, including a Class 8 electric truck that goes 500 miles (about 800 kilometers) on a single charge. Using IoT-based tools, the vehicle can even call 911 if a driver isn’t responding.

Using IoT-based tools, the vehicle can even call 911 if the driver isn’t responding.

Large fleets generate a great volume of data that can be collected with IoT smart connectivity devices and be used for in-depth analytics and visualization on application dashboards. This data can include routes, fuel consumption, performance statistics, and traffic congestion. With the use of integrated cloud-based platforms and advanced software, fleet operators can track vehicle positions in real time, provide remote car diagnostics, and monitor vehicle routes and mileage.

Read more: Learn how new fleet management software can revolutionize truck transportation

Get the new driving experience with smart infrastructure

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

Top-rank automotive technologies, including autonomous driving, cannot exist without smart or machine-readable infrastructure. Smart infrastructure isn’t only making driving smooth and safe but is also revolutionizing car design in the most radical way. It won’t take long until lane markers, street signs, and traffic signals equipped with radio beacons are common in the urban landscape. Eventually, with full automation technology, turn signals and mirrors will no longer be needed on cars. IoT connectivity with the smart infrastructure will make our cities look like science fiction films.

Connected to a data platform, a vehicle can receive access routing, geocoding, and rendering services.

A location data platform collecting data from road infrastructure and cars is a good example of how IoT-based connections can be integrated to facilitate driving. Once connected to a data platform, vehicles receive access to a number of services including routing, geocoding, and rendering.

Receiving real-time data from smart infrastructure devices, platforms can detect potential hazards that may arise from road conditions, weather, characteristics of the road surface, and anomalies in vehicle behavior. Eventually, this analyzed data and recommendations are transmitted to other cars connected via IoT devices.

Read more: Find out more about how Intellias built a cloud-based data platform powered by real-time data to facilitate autonomous driving

Benefit from IoT technologies enabling in-car Wi-Fi

Many IoT features can be supported by devices using 3G, 4G, or 5G connections. But the availability of Wi-Fi makes IoT accessible for millions of drivers. And IoT devices may themselves serve as Wi-Fi points, establishing V2V, V2D, and V2I connections. The latter can, in turn, be used to connect to smart infrastructure facilities, synchronize shared data, and receive real-time data on road conditions.

How Can the Automotive Industry Use Internet of Things (IoT) Technology?

The connected car is now becoming a mobile hotspot for passengers via M2M SIM cards. Automobile manufacturers are revealing infotainment systems with platforms for Wi-Fi local area networks (WLANs) so passengers can wirelessly connect to the internet on their devices during the trip.

Audi’s wireless infotainment platform is a good example of this trend, enabling drivers and passengers to get parking and traffic information, access Twitter and email, and navigate with Google Earth and Google Street View.

Read more: Learn why V2V, V2I, V2X, and other communication systems are essential for the autonomous future

The game-changing impacts of IoT on the automotive industry are extremely vivid and powerful. IoT-based solutions lie at the core of predictive maintenance technology that will help us forget about unplanned stops and malfunctions while driving.

With IoT devices, millions of drivers can connect to over-the-air software and data platforms to receive feature updates, software upgrades, safety improvements, bug fixes, and map and traffic updates. V2V, V2I, and V2X connectivity is about to start a new era in fleet management. Finally, a Wi-Fi connection is now enough to get connected to road infrastructure, making the drive smooth and safe. The IoT reality is closer than you might think.


Intellias knows how to capitalize on IoT in the automotive sector. Contact our experts and take advantage of opportunities brought by the intersection of Internet of Things and automotive technologies.

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