The IoT-Connected Car of Today
Imagine a world where your car not only drives itself, but also says intelligent things like these:
- A hotel is just around the corner and you have been driving for eight hours. Would you like to reserve a room and take rest for a couple of hours?
- You last serviced the brakes twelve months ago and you have driven your car about 20.000 miles in this duration. Would you like me to find a dealer and book an appointment?
This would look like an impossibility about five years ago when the world was unaware of a technology called the Internet of Things (IoT), but today, the IoT is already breaking fresh ground for tech companies and car manufacturers, enabling them to realize their idea of a ‘connected car.’
I recently attended Mobile World Congress (#MWC17) in Barcelona where SAP announced its collaboration with Hertz, Nokia and Concur Technologies. The purpose of this new partnership is to leverage on the IoT to offer an intelligent, automated experience to car users. SAP also announced its collaboration with Mojio, the connected vehicle platform and app provider for T-Mobile USA and Deutsche Telekom. The integration of Mojio’s cloud computing capabilities with SAP Vehicles Network will make parking and fueling process a breeze for users. From enabling drivers to reserve a parking spot based on calendar events to expense management for business travelers, SAP’s collaboration with these companies is likely to accelerate the development of connected cars.
In this article, I have discussed the cases that caught my interest and that, in my opinion, are likely to progress and evolve into something revolutionary.
Mojio — The IoT Connected Car
Mojio ‘s new smart car technology is set to create an automotive ecosystem that will allow the automotive, insurance, and telecom industry to thrive together. The recent news that Mojio plans to connect 500,000 vehicles to its cloud platform in the first phase gives us a clue about the technology is really taking off and the idea of ‘connected cars’ is likely to become a reality soon.
Mojio’s Data Analytics Capabilities
The open connected car platform introduced by Mojio has advanced data collection and analytical capabilities. The data collected by the sophisticated telematics device can be categorized into three types — contextual, behavioral, and diagnostic. Using mathematical and statistical modeling, Mojio discovers meaningful patterns and draw conclusions from data to allow companies to better understand the needs, behaviors, and expectations of their customers and drive product and service improvements.
Here’s how it all works.
- Behavioral Data — Mojio’s telematics device gathers information about speed, steering, and braking inputs to determine driver’s fatigue level and issue alerts. Long-term driving behavior data can also be used to help the user adopt a more fuel efficient driving style and calculate risk by insurance companies.
- Diagnostic Data — With the ability to access vehicle’s data remotely, car manufacturers can assess the health of a vehicle and combine this capability with in-car voice communication to notify customers when service is required.
- Contextual Data — Led by Google and Amazon, contextual targeting of advertisements based on the search data of an individual has become a usual practice in the digital world. Mojio is using the same principle to offer more personalized advice to car drivers. It enriches the behavioral and contextual data of a customer with geolocation data, posted speed limits, and updated traffic flow conditions to provide valuable recommendations to the driver.
Data Sharing Outside the Connected Car Ecosystem
Mojio has evolved from being a ‘service provider’ to a ‘system integrator’ and it now works with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and other companies to offer all the services a user may need in an integrated, unfragmented manner. Built on SAP Vehicles Network, the Connected Car Ecosystem introduces users to a new level of convenience and comfort. Leveraging on the capabilities of this open connected car platform, users can now ask Amazon Alexa questions about their newly connected car, such as “Alexa, ask Mojio how much fuel my car has left.”
Future Possibilities: A Value Chain in Flux
Mojio has partnered with a number of companies, including Amazon Alexa, Dooing, IFTTT, FleetLeed, and Spot Angels. The integration of the value chains of these companies will mean improved convenience and better personalized services to customers. While the possibilities are unlimited, I have listed a couple of examples here to help you get an idea of the potential of this technology.
Logistical providers — Leveraging on the capabilities of this open connected car platform, you can request Amazon/UPS/DHL/FedEx to deliver an order directly to the boot of your car. Amazon will find your car using the geolocation data, enter a security code to open the luggage compartment, and leave your parcel while you’re in a meeting or having your lunch at a restaurant.
IFTTT — The integration of Mojio and IFTTT means that your calendar will be automatically updated based on your travel habits. Not only this, you will be able to set triggers and actions as well, such as:
- When my vehicle ignition turns on, mute my Android tone.
- Track new trips in a Google spreadsheet.
- Receive a notification when Mojio senses that my car’s battery is low.
SpotAngel — Did you know that Mojio could save you money? The partnership of Mojio with SpotAngel will allow you to receive alerts for street cleaning, alternate side parking, or parking meters, helping you avoid parking tickets.
The possibilities are virtually unlimited. For example, if Mojio partners with a call center, then businesses will be able to get voice recordings of calls made by customers for roadside assistance or directions and use this information to ensure quality control or for CRM.
Hertz — The Rent-a-Car Company Ready to Use IoT to Improve Its Customer Experience
Hertz is set to become the first car rental company to use the Internet of Things to offer improved services to its customers. It announced its decision to join SAP Vehicles Network in the conference that I recently attended. Being a member of the SAP Vehicles Network, that currently comprises of leading names like Nokia, Concur Technologies, and Mojio, will allow Hertz to elevate the car-rental experience of its customers by providing them personalized advice and services.
Hertz is likely to integrate travel and itinerary planning along with in-car personalization to deliver just what the client needs. In addition to this, the integration of Concur’s TripLink will be particularly beneficial for business travelers. The app will aggregate all the travel-related expenses, including fuel and parking fees to allow customers to generate a single expense report for the entire trip. Using Concur’s TripLink business travelers will be able to a single click to submit their trip expense report immediately after the trip is completed.
Nokia to Offer Robust, Multi-Layered Security to Connected Cars
Nokia has designed a horizontal solution to address the challenges posed by the fragmented and complex IoT ecosystem that comprises of disparate devices and applications. Titled ‘Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things’ (IMPACT), the new solution offers connectivity, data collection, analytics, and business application development capabilities across all verticals.
Using IMPACT, service providers will be able to assume a competitive position in the market by offering them a number of value-adding options, such as:
- IMPACT will monitor traffic flow to offer real-time updates to customers.
- Personalization of driver settings and entertainment systems.
- Remote monitoring of speed, fuel levels, and other metrics for vehicle diagnostics and predictive maintenance.
Improved Safety with Live Transportation Monitoring
Apart from Nokia, Hertz, and Mojio, SAP is also working with NTT to devise a state-of-the-art solution that can improve the safety of public transport. The solution, which is called Live Transportation Monitoring, has three components — NTT’s IoT analytics platform, SAP’s connected transportation safety portal, and hitoe® — a fabric that will used to manufacture drivers’ workwear.
This fabric is coated with a conductive polymer which will help the service provider monitor the driving behavior and key health parameters of drivers from a remote location in a real time manner. The data will be presented on SAP’s connected transportation safety portal. This way, public transportation companies will be able to ensure complete safety of their passengers, as well monitor the health of their employees and vehicles.
Combined, all these technologies have the potential to make the driving experience of customers sager, more convenient, and less costly. Also, since this is a relatively new market, we can expect new players to join hands, gain a foothold, and push the boundaries of what’s possible with IoT.
By Ronald van Loon