Are you ready for your smart car?

The Internet of Things is gearing up to change transportation as we know it

Imagine a world where your car not only drives itself, but talks to you and says helpful things like this:

  • “You’ve been driving for four hours and it’s past 9 p.m. A hotel five miles from here has rooms available. Would you like me to reserve a room and guide you there?
  • “Your friends Jeff and Kelly are at a restaurant around the corner. Would you like to call them? Would you like me to navigate you to your friends?
  • “Traffic between here and home is moving slow and your brakes need service. I can get you a service appointment with a highly rated dealer in five minutes. Would you like me to make the service appointment and drive you there?

It’s coming, and sooner than you think says Andreas Mai, Director of Smart Connected Vehicles for Cisco Systems. Mai led a focus session at The Premier Business Leadership Series this week in Las Vegas, and shared how the Internet of Things is going to transform driving as we know it.


Andreas Mai, Director of Smart Connected Vehicles for Cisco Systems

Connected cars: the benefits

The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to create $700 billion in benefit for personal transportation alone. “Big benefits, but there are big challenges too,” said Mai.

First, the benefits, to the tune of $1,400 per connected vehicle, per year. “That breaks down into lower costs for drivers through lower insurance rates, lower operation costs and less time stuck in traffic which increases productivity,” said Mai. “

“The benefits to society are increased safety -- 80 percent of crashes can be affected by vehicle to vehicle communication alone,” said Mai. “There’s CO2 reduction and decreased congestion as connectivity helps increase lane capacity and intersection throughput, lower infrastructure costs from knowing when and where to send trucks out for ice prevention, fixing potholes, and more,” said Mai.

And the advantages for business? “Remote diagnostics will help automakers reduce warranty costs and ongoing data from the vehicle will help automakers be more ‘sticky’ with their customers. They’ll have the opportunity to create and deliver new services,” said Mai.

Connected cars will also spawn a whole new set of service providers to create helpful services thru connectivity – “like parking spot locator services, more accurate, real-time traffic information, and location-based services that create immediate value for us as drivers, but also businesses with new channels to sell to customers,” said Mai.

The challenge: Connecting, combining and analyzing the data

“The Internet of Things is a key transformative event – but only if you connect things and the pools of data from various sources, like weather information, driver capabilities, risk at an intersection,” said Mai. “All these pools of knowledge reside in different entities, and only when you combine them and analyze them can you find the benefit.”

“In a single trip, a self-driving car can generate up to 1 terabyte of data. The ability of a network to scale to that amount of data is vital,” said Mai. “And after you’ve connected all these devices and applications, collected and analyzed the data, you better make sure you have a highly secure network – security is mission critical.”

Next steps

So, where do you go from here? Mai had three pieces of advice for his audience:

  1. Develop your Internet of Things strategy now.
  2. Secure the partners you need to win the IoT battle, because many organizations are already positioning themselves to be successful.
  3. Get your IT infrastructure ready to enable your IoT strategy. “Internet of Things capabilities depend on you having a state of art infrastructure that allows for the integration and data processing power needed,” said Mai.



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