What does it mean to have a network of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, laptops, smart TVs, and other devices, all connected to another? Considering connectivity is already changing many aspects of daily life, it means a lot. On a larger scale, The Internet of Things (IoT) is also revolutionizing various business industries. As noted here on Barbara IoT, a whopping 21 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet and each other by the year 2020. And with the IoT set to take over sectors like transportation and logistics, the Internet now has a hand in the way people get from place to place, as well as how shipments are delivered. In what specific ways does connectivity transform the landscape of these sectors? For starters…
Efficient Road Travel
It’s no secret that the IoT is already helping drivers avoid traffic. With gadgets that track GPS data, people can find alternate routes to help them move efficiently through the streets. How it works is that the Internet pulls information from various sources, such as trains, buses, traffic lights, and other vehicles so that it can calculate which routes are the fastest. Regular drivers are already using apps like Waze to guide them around congested roads through community-based data via mobile phones, but the IoT will be able to take this a step further by letting smart cars actually communicate with roads, traffic lights, other vehicles around them, and its owners, as well. This way, not only will drivers know which routes to take, but also what road conditions are like — such as air quality and road slipperiness — in real time.
Connectivity can improve various aspects in a warehouse setting. Traditionally, any adjustments on logistics processes can result in massive expenses. But the IoT can help improve the situation and reduce the costs. IoT for All noted that data can provide a detailed snapshot of the warehouse, including temperatures, inventory figures, and equipment status. Using this information, companies can analyze their performance and make tweaks without the risk of costly consequences.
Improved Vehicle Maintenance
It’s a standard procedure in the fleet industry to have every vehicle inspected before trips. However, poor management can lead to reactive vehicle maintenance, which can be costly. This problem can be addressed and better prevented with the IoT. Fortunately, there are now electronic logging devices that can display real-time vehicle issues. Basics issues such as low fuel, low tire pressure or a need for an oil change can all be detected in advance. Verizon Connect details some of their benefits to fleet businesses, including reduced expenses as well as improved fuel efficiency. With the IoT, fleet owners ultimately improve the quality of their services by constantly monitoring their fleet and look for areas of improvement across the company.
Improved Road Safety
New vehicle models are outfitted with connected technologies that place emphasis on driver safety. For instance, cars now have features like automatic braking and lane monitoring, speed variation, and much more. As long as the car is connected, drivers can receive alerts when they cross a lane or run a red light. With these tech measures in place, drivers are encouraged to improve their road etiquette.
People are even going as far as exploring vehicles that can drive themselves. A report by Computer Weekly discussed how Spanish authorities are already considering deploying autonomous vehicles. In an attempt to increase road safety, the Directorate General of Traffic is partnering with Mobileye to develop data analysis for self-driving cars. There are plenty of discussions on whether or not driverless cars are actually safe, but the concept is there. Developers code the vehicle’s system to emulate the navigations of a safe driver. Several cities in the US have already tested vehicles with positive results.
The Internet of Things is clearly shaping the future, with its changes not just in transportation and logistics but extending to many other industries too. And as noted on Barbara IoT, connected devices serve to benefit both the customer and the business in the short- and long-term.