Although transportation has already been affected by the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s really only at the beginning stages of transformation. The IoT has the potential to completely change the industry.
Collecting and sharing data between devices to make decisions without human interaction is what the IoT is all about. It’s how online articles are suggested as possibly interesting to you and it’s how smart appliances save you money behind the scenes. And when it comes to transportation, the IoT is what will help the self-driving cars of the future communicate to each other and keep you safe
Safety is often one of the first things that comes to mind for many when discussing the impact of the IoT on transportation. With the ability to communicate in real-time using data from various sources, self-driving vehicles increase the security of not only the people in the vehicle but also pedestrians.
Through smart sensors, transportation vehicles can communicate any incoming accidents and traffic delays on current routes. They can also help drivers should they become incapacitated or have a medical emergency.
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has the goal of using IoT to reduce car accidents by 80%. They are partnering with car manufacturers on making obligatory technology to make roads safer. According to an article posted by the USDOT, “Drivers would receive notifications and alerts of dangerous situations, such as someone about to run a red light as they’re nearing an intersection or an oncoming car, out of sight beyond a curve, swerving into their lane to avoid an object on the road.”
In a fully connected transportation world, you may receive constant real-time data about traffic conditions, road closures, and public transportation travel schedules in order to help you get from one point to another in the most efficient, effective manner. IoT technology in vehicles could help reduce the number of hours commuters spend sitting in traffic. In the United States, that number is estimated at 42 hours per year, sometimes reaching as high as 80 hours.
When cars become truly autonomous, not requiring a human driver at all, the IoT will help with tracking a vehicle’s health, with real-time inspections to ensure that it’s fully functioning. And if there are issues with the car, the technology will notify the owner or a mechanic, as well as other vehicles on the road.
Logistics and Geo-Fencing
Geo-fencing is an IoT tool that creates virtual fences or perimeters around a certain point of interest. It could inform logistics managers of any deviations while packages or large shipments are in transit to their location.
Using geo-fencing, the regional manager of a supplier could manage massive supply chains of driverless fleets from one device. An IoT system allowing a handful of employees to track each shipment.
Geo-fencing can possibly help prevent overcrowding that could cause slowdowns. Vehicles would be alerted of the oncoming traffic and reroute to other paths to avoid pedestrians, quiet areas, and school zones.
Residents in highly populated areas use public transportation as their mode of travel. IoT would enhance their commute by personalizing the experience, sending alerts of any delays in their normal route. IoT gives commuters valuable information while helping the city keep better track its vehicles.
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Barnett, Taylor Donovan. (31 Jan 2019). IoT Revolution: 5 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Transportation. Interesting Engineering.
What Are Connected Vehicles and Why Do We Need Them? United States Department of Transportation.