Big Data and the Connected Car
Everyone is talking about “big data” and the “connected car” these days, but transforming these emerging technologies into useful benefits for drivers everywhere has yet to be applied mainstream. As companies focus on integrating new technology into vehicles, the driver experience is often an afterthought. With automotive manufacturers developing internet data plans for vehicles, ecosystems for vehicles and the “app gap” widening every day, the next wave of connected car innovations must focus on improving driver experiences leveraging intelligent transportation systems (ITS).
“Intelligent transportation system market will be worth $33.75 billion (USD) by 2020.”
With the focus shifting from a “me too” environment, to tangible productivity benefits, the niche area of ITS expertise is moving mainstream. MarketsandMarkets predicts in their latest research report, that the “Intelligent transportation system market will be worth $33.75 billion (USD) by 2020.”
With traffic congestion being the biggest factor of this emerging area, MarketsandMarkets in their report concludes, “North America holds the major market share, followed by Europe owing to the rapid development in infrastructure. The APAC market also constitutes a substantial market share in ITS. From these factors, it is believed that these markets will grow at a significant growth rate for the forecast period of 2014 to 2020.”
Global examples of intelligent commuting moves beyond connected cars
What if you could predict the upcoming traffic on your daily commute before stepping into your vehicle? Technology exists today that uses driver location data, GPS technology and historical patterns to do just that.
Connected vehicle technology can also predict road conditions by analyzing driver data. Giving drivers insight into the weather they are anticipated to encounter on their upcoming journey represents the next generation of connected cars focusing on improved driver experiences. Coined “intelligent commuting,” this next generation of connected car technology reigns in big data insights, translating complex data into tangible benefits drivers can implement – today.
Early adopters have already begun to recognize the benefits intelligent transportation systems can bring to commuters in an effort to ease traffic congestion in urban areas. Recently in Europe, the OPTICITIES project was announced, “aiming to develop and test interoperable ITS solutions in six different cities to provide urban citizens with the best possible journey conditions and to optimize urban logistics operations. Gathering 25 partners from across Europe (6 cities, service providers, car industry, research laboratories and major European networks) the goal is to pave the way towards smart urban mobility. With an overall budget of 13 million Euros, the project is co-funded by the European Commission.”
By using connected car data to coordinate and connect services across multiple transportation networks (subways, trams buses, vehicle and bicycle traffic), citizens gain access to the next generation of smarter commuting powered by connected car technology. In fact, in the Netherlands, moisture levels on roads are assessed using data transmitted from cars. Currently, vehicles are embedded with technology that can detect dangerous wet spots on roads to caution drivers. Worldwide, a focus on intelligent commuting has begun to take shape considering weather, traffic patterns and driver behavior as an integrated view of commuter experiences.
Case Study: Singapore – Intelligent Transportation Leader
Recently, Siemen’s recognized Singapore as an “Intelligent City Infrastructure” winner because of their successful implementation of ITS technology.
According to a Siemen’s case study, which recognized Singapore’s leadership in ITS technology, “the growing population and lack of available physical space have made traffic management increasingly challenging in Singapore. By 2020, travel demand is expected to rise from 8.9 million journeys per day to about 14.3 million, signifying the marked increase in the city-state’s population. Concurrently, Singapore faces major constraints in space, with 12% of land already occupied by the 3,300 km-road network and another 15% devoted to housing. Expanding the road network to address transport demand has not been seen as a sustainable option. Instead, the Singapore government has utilized policy and technology to manage transport demand and supply, maximizing the current sustainable systems while minimizing more environmentally impactful modes of transit.”
To address this challenge, Singapore successfully implemented an advanced range of ITS technologies to improve the lives of citizens using big data insights and advanced transportation technology.
According to Siemen’s case study, “Singapore has implemented a sophisticated Intelligent Transport System (ITS), which uses data collection and ITS solutions to keep road traffic running safely and smoothly. The ITS acts in concert with a number of other transport initiatives: free public transportation in pre-morning peak hours, a vehicle quota system, a congestion charge, and an extensive public transport system.”
Benefits Connected Cars and Intelligent Transportation Will Bring to Drivers
Whether it be to decrease traffic accidents, decrease road congestion and/or build a sustainable mobility infrastructure, the future is bright for the next wave of connected car technology aimed to improve the experiences of drivers worldwide.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) has compiled a series of benefits summarized from the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) of the United States:
People need travel options to be convenient, reliable and affordable. Mobility is of key importance to people with special needs, including the elderly, the poor, people with disabilities and people who live in remote areas. Better mobility improves quality of life and boosts the ability of individuals and organizations to contribute to the growth of the economy. Intelligent Transport Systems include many methods for enhancing the mobility of people and freight in all transportation modes. For instance, travel information helps travelers avoid congestion, promoting a better use of existing road capacity and subsequently improving traffic conditions. Traffic management (i.e. the more effective timing of traffic signals) can help increase traffic efficiency. Demand management, (i.e. road and access pricing) can help relieve heavily congested urban areas. Commercial vehicle management helps to improve security and efficiency, not only for carriers but also for related public agencies.
Faster emergency response and increased efficiency of road operators
The availability of new communication systems and organizational means will enhance the abilities of road operators and the emergency services. Intelligent Transport Systems will be able to pinpoint an accident, help determine the extent of injuries sustained, direct emergency vehicles to the accident site more quickly and find the best route to hospitals, allowing the flow of traffic to return to normal conditions more quickly.
Reducing travel uncertainty
The transportation system will guide travelers in real-time, helping them on a daily basis to avoid congestion or react to accidents and other incidents such as strikes, seasonal peaks or adverse weather conditions. Intelligent Transport Systems can help to reduce travel uncertainty by smoothing traffic flow (and therefore reducing fluctuations in travel times). Intelligent Transport Systems can also provide improved real-time and predictive information that allows travelers to plan trips in a more effective way. In-vehicle navigation systems can incorporate real-time traffic information to dynamically adjust driving routes, optimizing trips based on the received information.
Intelligent Transport Systems will help to reduce the wasted time and energy by optimizing trips, reducing congestion, improving vehicle and driver performance by fostering better management of the transportation system as a whole. The optimization of the transport system will result in energy savings, lower pollution levels and reduced environmental impact.
Reduced Fatalities and Injuries
Roadside and on-board technologies will help drivers to detect and avoid potentially dangerous driving situations. Other technologies will identify drivers impaired as a result of alcohol, drugs or fatigue, and address reckless driving. The role of ITS is important for improving enforcement on roads and highways. Intelligent Transport Systems are helping to shift the safety focus from minimizing the consequences of crashes (through the use of seat belts, head rests, impact absorbing front ends, etc.) to the use of technology that makes crashes less severe and can prevent them altogether.
As connected car technology gains in popularity, it is important to consider the multiple benefits that will occur as intelligent transportation technology is embraced worldwide. By transforming big data insights into tangible methods of improving our roads and infrastructure, useful benefits for drivers everywhere have emerged.
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Intelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS) are leaders in connected car technology, focused on making the driving experience safer, smarter and greener. IMS offers a wide range of telematics business solutions designed for organizations operating across a variety of markets. To learn more about the company’s vision for the future of intelligent transportation, the DriveSync connected car platform and more, please visit IMS Connected Car Vision.