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 could drastically improve the safety of passengers and pedestrians.
Using smart sensors, cars and buses could alert other vehicles of potential road hazards, reckless drivers, or oncoming traffic delays. Inside the vehicle, the sensors could help drivers who may be impaired, falling asleep, or suffering from a medical emergency.
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is working with car manufacturers on mandatory vehicle IoT technology that could reduce the occurrence of crashes by 80 percent. 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 operating at its full potential. 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 help logistics managers see when a package or large shipment may have deviated from the prescribed path.
Using geo-fencing, the regional manager of a supplier could manage massive supply chains from one device. In an IoT system with a driverless fleet, it may only require a few people to monitor thousands of shipments.
Geo-fencing could also help manage crowds in cities, helping to prevent overcrowding that could cause slowdowns. Vehicles may be redirected to other regions of a city to avoid pedestrians, quiet areas, and school zones.
Residents of major cities are likely to take public transportation daily. Real-time tracking of vehicles in an IoT ecosystem could help public transportation passengers travel at ease and help a city better manage its public fleet. Passengers could receive personalized travel information about unexpected delays or events that could delay their commute.
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Barnett, Taylor Donovan. (31 Jan 2019). IoT Revolution: 5 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Transportation. Interesting Engineering.