PubNub Brings Reliable, Real-time Connectivity to the IoT with Connected Car Solution Kit

By Rachel Ramsey January 29, 2014

PubNub’s real-time network has powered solution kits for different industries at seemingly perfect timing – its stock trading, WebRTC and Bitcoin solution kits were all introduced at the height of those industries’ hype, and it’s at it again with the introduction of its connected car solution kit.

If there seems like there’s a pattern when it comes to PubNub’s timing for these solution kits, that’s because there is. Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub, discussed the company’s strategy for entering markets, why that makes the company so successful and how this connected car solution kit adds value to PubNub’s existing offerings.

PubNub waits until demand rises for a specific industry or market before it enters with a solution. Some may think that’s not a very proactive mindset to have, but there are reasons it waits until the world wants something. First and foremost, it’s letting customer drive the focus of PubNub’s solutions, ensuring the company is providing solutions that customers want and need. Secondly, it’s letting the markets mature a little bit to see what the demand is like and then look at what is missing from solutions.

In terms of connected cars, the timing is definitely on point. Automotive is just one area of the Internet of Things (IoT), a growing buzzword about connecting everything to the Internet to provide valuable insights, actionable data and seamless automation. Greene thinks the IoT is taking off so rapidly because the cost of devices that can be online all the time has dropped, so we can afford to have millions of them all over the place. The technology is there and the costs are right, so that’s why more companies, developers and solutions are testing out the IoT.

PubNub’s connected car solution offers five main features: Reliable connectivity, location tracking, dispatch, vehicle state and geofencing. Greene explained the No. 1 feature for transportation is the connectivity – networks are changing all the time when traveling; bridges, tunnels and changing cell towers all contribute to drivers, and therefore their networks, temporarily losing data.

It may not seem like a big deal – the networks are silently disconnecting and reconnecting, so users barely notice – but that temporary loss in data can mean a huge lost opportunity for those in say, dispatch services. Taxi services like GetTaxi rely on networks to be able to communicate with drivers as effectively as possible. Services like GetTaxi will usually send out a request to one to two drivers, giving them a short amount of time, maybe 10-12 seconds, to respond to the request. If they don’t, the operator will turn to the next set of drivers. The system starts to break down when you can’t even confirm if drivers received those dispatch requests, slowing down the dispatch system, aggravating customers and making it hard to rate drivers accurately.

(Click to enlarge)

Luckily, GetTaxi relies on PubNub to make sure all of those results are avoided. In addition to providing reliable connectivity, PubNub provides real-time tracking of vehicle location, tracking for applications such as fleet management or traffic streaming,  in-car platforms to provide diagnostics communication in real-time.

PubNub’s mantra about is solution kits and real-time network is, “It just works.” Customer and end-user testimonials support that, as the company serves more than 600 customers across all of its solution kits.

The connected car solution kit aims to connect the dots between building blocks; for example, storage and playback means one thing to developers, but to end users, it could be a foreign language. Many people understand storage and playback as “history,” as in, the driving history, or presence as, “Is a car on or offline?”

Geofencing is another capability of PubNub’s connected car solution kit, which shows drivers in a specific location set by channels and multiplexing.

This isn’t PubNub’s first move into connected cars. It also integrates with Ford’s AppLink, offering a real-time location tracking and notification via mobile phone to a car’s dashboard.

PubNub is exhibiting at the M2M Evolution Conference & Expo in Miami this week, collocated with ITEXPO, at booth #207. Greene will also be presenting a case study on GetTaxi, showcasing the power of its connected car solution kit and how GetTaxi uses the company’s network for real-time data to improve the dispatch and customer experience. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

Content Director

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