IoT Time Preview: Smart Transportation

By Ken Briodagh April 06, 2017

IoT Evolution, the leading media brand for the Internet of Things (IoT), has published a book outlining more than 150 of the leading trends in the IoT industry, entitled “IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things.” The book, written by IoT Evolution Editorial Director, Ken Briodagh, seeks to explore the factors that have shaped the recent past of the developing industry and use those to predict the trends that will drive the next period of growth. Each of the trends is explicated and illustrated with a case study or product review that supports each position.

In this weekly series, we’ll be previewing chapters for you to read in the hopes that you’ll like enough to read the whole thing. To do just that, for free, click here. Alternatively, there’s a paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99.

Chapter 2: Smart Transportation
Trend: Transportation market takes off
Research Clears the Air for Connected Transportation

Research firm Mobile Experts released a hard-hitting study that drilled down into the real facts involved in predicting the growing automotive, connected transportation and telematics IoT markets.

The report investigated connectivity for telematics, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) applications using DSRC and LTE, as well as TPMS and other wireless applications related to cars. New business models for insurance and 5G technology prospects are explored in detail.

“A political battle is raging in the United States, with the auto industry pushing for the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Transportation to adopt DSRC using 802.11p,” said Joe Madden, Principal Analyst, Mobile Experts. “However, the wireless industry—led by Qualcomm--is pushing for extension of Wi-Fi into the 5.8 GHz band and LTE for V2V communications. The outcome of this politicized decision will have far-reaching implications, as many other countries are waiting for the USA to make the first move.”

According to the Mobile Experts report, the overall number of wireless IoT modules shipped in the automotive sector is set to triple by 2021, which means that multiple radios will be used for each vehicle, since only about 80 million vehicles are sold each year. Moreover, revenue for automotive IoT modules will grow from about $6 billion today to $10.9 billion in 2021.

The report explains that autonomous, connected cars were built in the 1950s, and the market is still developing the concept 60 years later.

“Cars are already connected using 2G, 3G, and LTE. We don't see a role for 5G in the car, but we predict the rise of some very interesting new business models coming into the market with Usage Based Insurance, fleet management, infotainment, and improved safety. It's important to note that autonomous cars collect huge amounts of data. This analysis makes some predictions about what cars will do with that data, and how much will be shared over the network,” said Madden.

Semiconductors for automotive IoT are growing steadily to reach about $5 billion in 2021, and the study said some cars will adopt LTE-M (Category-M1) modems with integrated transceivers for another step in cost reduction during the 2020-2021 timeframe.

Trend: Apps are driving, but data is king of the road
What Do Driving Apps do With Your Data?

James Babkes, an attorney, identified 2016 as the first year of a post-privacy age in which the data we create through enabling location-centric apps like Google Maps and Waze while driving brings a host of data into the growing Internet of Things. It all begs the question: what do the apps do with the data?

Just about anything they want, according to Babkes. Google’s privacy policy states that the company collects data on the things you do, the things you create, and the things that make you “you.” This includes a slew of personal information: IP addresses, cookie data, device information, location, birthday, address, calendar events, and things you search for.

Google/Waze can also share personal information with law enforcement whenever they have a “good faith belief” that police officers or federal security personnel need the information certain problem individuals.

In this way, the saved data is a double-edged sword; saving users time at the cost of privacy.  During Hurricane Sandy, Waze partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to geotag gas stations that had run out of gas.

Google executives have been known to express a sentiment that information can, and should be shared; they take a “you should have nothing to hide” stance. And although the data they collect is being used to create a wonderful library of easily accessible information, the concerns individuals have regarding privacy, advertising, and security is real.

Trend: Government takes notice… and action
U.S. DOT and NHTSA Issue Support Statement for Connected Vehicles

The US DOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration joined forces to support the development of Automated Vehicles, and industry safety standards for their use and testing. This was a great endorsement to the industry, and showed that Connected Transportation was finally a priority for the administration.

The two agencies made the following statement: “DOT and NHTSA policy is to facilitate and encourage wherever possible the development and deployment of technologies with the potential to save lives. To that end, NHTSA will use all available tools to determine the safety potential of new technologies; to eliminate obstacles that would prevent or delay technology innovations from realizing that safety potential; and to work with industry, governmental partners at all levels, and other stakeholders to develop or encourage new technologies and accelerate their adoption where appropriate.”

Within six months, the NHTSA said it would propose best-practice guidance to industry on establishing principles of safe operation for fully autonomous vehicles. Meanwhile, it has continued its efforts, in concert with other entities within and outside DOT, to incentivize the development and adoption of technologies using vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, so that Americans enjoy the full benefits of connected-vehicle safety technology.

Trend: The platform gets rolling
Over a Million Connected Vehicles Roll onto European IoT Control Center Platform

Jasper, a global IoT platform provider, and POST Luxembourg, Luxembourg’s national telecommunications services operator, launched a combined network and IoT platform, designed to help enterprises launch, manage and monetize IoT service businesses.

One of the first to get on board has been one of Europe’s largest auto manufacturers, which joined the platform to increase visibility and control over its IoT services and enable it to scale the services delivered to its vehicles.

“For over a decade, Jasper’s IoT service platform has helped automakers transform the driving experience. We partner with more than 15 of the world’s leading OEMs to accelerate connected car innovation and deliver solutions that enable reliable delivery and management of new services,” said Kalle Ward, Regional Managing Director EMEA, Jasper. “It was exciting to meet the challenge of bringing one of Europe’s largest car manufacturer’s connected cars onto the platform. We look forward to continuing to help them launch, manage and monetize their future connected car initiatives.”

By partnering with Jasper, POST can provide its customers a scalable IoT platform that helps it introduce new IoT services in Europe. Jasper partners with 27 mobile operator groups, representing more than 100 mobile operator networks worldwide, so, as businesses aspire to grow IoT services beyond Europe, they can scale as needed.

“We continue to see a high level of demand for IoT solutions from our enterprise customers, and with Jasper, we are well-equipped to provide our customers with a premiere global IoT platform,” said Jean-Marie Spaus, Director, POST Luxembourg. “Enterprises throughout Luxembourg, regardless of industry, can now quickly and cost-effectively deliver value-added IoT services that enable better relationships with their customers while driving revenue growth.”

Trend: Vehicles for life
Vehicle-to-Everything Technology Will Be a Life Saver

Mahbubul Alam, CTO and CMO of Movimento Group presented the position that a massive consumer-focused industry like automobiles is up close and personal with people -- so up close that safety and driver protection from harm are top of mind for manufacturers. Indeed, he said it was time to leverage technology to help keep distracted drivers alert, which has been getting more sophisticated all year. The centerpiece is called Vehicle to Everything (V2X) technology.

It’s a solution that uses Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication via Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC). V2V is already making its way into new cars. For example, Toyota has a communicating radar cruise control that uses V2V to make it easier for preceding and following vehicles to keep a safe distance apart. This is an element in the company’s “intelligent transportation system.”

Meanwhile, many European vehicle manufacturers and related vendors have joined the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium, which works to speed time to market for V2V and V2E solutions and to ensure that products are interoperable.

Trend: The Linux Movement
Big IoT Brands Join Linux Movement for Connected Car

Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is a collaborative open source project within the Linux Foundation that’s been building a Linux-based software stack for the connected car. Movimento, Oracle, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Texas Instruments, UIEvolution and VeriSilicon are all members.

“AGL has seen tremendous growth over the past year as demand for connected car technology and infotainment are rapidly increasing,” said Dan Cauchy, GM, Automotive, The Linux Foundation. “Our membership base is not only growing rapidly, but it is also diversifying across various business interests, from semiconductors and in-vehicle software to IoT and connected cloud services. This is a clear indication that the connected car revolution has broad implications across many industry verticals.”

In 2016, AGL announced a new Unified Code Base (UCB) distribution built specifically for the automotive industry. This new Linux distribution was built from the ground up to address automotive specific applications and AGL hopes it will become the standard for the industry.

“The automotive industry is enjoying an unprecedented rate of innovation, fueled by a large number of connectivity and compute technologies coming together into the car,” said Nakul Duggal, VP, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Automotive Grade Linux will help car manufacturers take advantage of these technologies, accelerating the development of the cutting-edge, in-car experiences drivers demand today.”

The  AGL member total is at more than 70, with carmakers Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota among the first to participate collaborative project. Other members include Aisin AW, Codethink, DENSO, Fujitsu Ten, HARMAN, Intel, Mitsubishi Electric, NTT DATA MSE, Panasonic, Pioneer, Renesas Electronics, Wind River and many others.

Trend: Sensors lead to more safety
Seat Sensors Monitor Riders for Safer Travel

In the consumer connected car space, more is what’s been needed. More testing, more safety, more data and more use cases. And that’s what we’ve been getting. Many companies started to create solutions to getting some of that “more” that we need, and BeBop sensors, which has manufactured a smart fabric sensor technology loaded with what it’s calling the Automotive Occupant Classification System (OCS), is one of the most interesting.

This OCS features embedded car seat sensors that continuously take full seat pressure images in real-time to detect pressure information and movement from the entire seat, collecting data points for all aspects of physical contact between the occupant and the seat, including leaning forward or back, left or right, crossing legs, occupant size and weight, and detecting the rigid bottom of a child car seat.

Most current systems are used only for making sure that airbags are active when needed, based entirely on weight. If you’ve placed a bag of groceries on the front seat and then had to buckle it up to stop that infernal beeping, you know how stupid and annoying the current technology is.

“That technology is now obsolete,” said Keith McMillen, Founder & CEO, BeBop. “You can tell more about a person through a picture than a scale.”

BeBop’s high-resolution OCS sensing system was designed to distinguish subtle details and changes to an occupant’s position and movements in real time, are lightweight, have no moving parts are waterproof and are automotive grade. They can also be customized for any seat in the front or back row.

Trend: Smarter Emergency Services
New Vehicle Network to Help First Responders

John Oliver, on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, pilloried the 911 system in the U.S. for its inaccuracy and unreliability in remote areas. The point was not to poke fun at dispatchers or first responders, but to show how out-of-date technology is failing them in helping people. The 911 problems are not the only technical challenges facing emergency personnel, and a product on the road in Massachusetts is helping with yet another.

Sierra Wireless made available its AirLink MP70 LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) vehicle router for mission critical applications in public safety, transit and field services. It is designed to serve as a purpose-built, high-performance vehicle networking solution that enables multiple high-bandwidth applications to work simultaneously, more than 10 times faster and four times further from the vehicle than ever before. The company says it can also provide IT departments with the ability to manage fleet and mobile assets in the cloud or an enterprise data center.

“We trialed the MP70 router to connect our in-vehicle computers and provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for our team to access critical database records onsite in real time during emergencies,” said Greg Katz, Lieutenant, Billerica, MA Police. “Right out of the box, we were impressed by the MP70’s top-notch, ruggedized form factor—with hardened aluminum casing, it’s clearly designed for turbulent vehicle environments. We are also very impressed with its reliable LTE connectivity and, because it offers 4-port Gigabit Ethernet, we will be able to support more in-vehicle equipment, such as video cameras and ALPR, bringing the full functionality of our office network to our patrol officers.”

The MP70 has an integrated events engine, built-in vehicle I/O and support for AirLink Vehicle Telemetry to enable advanced awareness and instant insight into vehicle diagnostics, connected mobile assets, fleet operations and the workforce. The MP70 also provides GNSS and inertial navigation (activated in an upcoming software release), enabling superior vehicle location accuracy, even when out of satellite coverage.

Trend: Cross-border connectivity
Cubic Puts Connectivity Umbrella Over Europe, with Audi

Irish connectivity firm Cubic Telecom, which specializes in supplying connectivity across mobile operators, secured a deal with Audi, the German luxury auto brand, to equip its new vehicle models with Audi connect SIM cards from Cubic. This allows customers the immediate use of Audi connect services all over Europe.

The SIM card brings Audi connect services on board via an LTE/UMTS module with a download speed of up to 100 Mbps. As the driver cruises through Europe, the Audi connect SIM automatically accesses the provider for each specific country, as needed. This eliminates high, country-specific roaming charges and inconvenient roaming confirmations for the customer. The Audi connect SIM is used in all new models that include the second generation of the modular infotainment platform.

This kind of cross-border, cross-carrier connectivity is only achieved through strategic partnerships across all related verticals and represents real positive movement in the IoT and Connected transportation industries.

Trend: Real-world trials
Callaway Cars Uses IoT for Development, Driving

Callaway Cars knows how to rock some speed, and the company best known for getting fast cars to go faster is using the IoT to help its customers do the same. The company is using IoT technology to gather data and to analyze the performance of its Callaway Corvette Z06 SC757 during on-road testing. Then it takes those insights and applies them to improve and advance future product development.

Callaway Cars worked with product development firm Boston Engineering to design and implement the ThingWorx IoT platform for this solution. Sensors in the Callaway ‘Vette will collect performance data, including speed, engine RPM, air intake temperature, and air outlet temperature. The collected data is fed to the ThingWorx cloud and transmitted to Callaway engineers.

“Our engineers approach vehicle systems and components without compromise, and we've been able to develop products that produce stunning power,” said Reeves Callaway, founder of Callaway Cars. “Working with IoT technology to capture and analyze data quickly can give us another highly effective method to evaluate our products' performance.”

Trend: Autonomous cars
Getting Driverless Cars Up to Speed

Autonomous, or self-driving, cars have been undergoing extensive testing designed to work out the kinks. The potential market for driverless cars is quite extensive. It will include commuters, the disabled, senior citizens and the military.

There are five driverless car companies that are making great strides.

Google is a blue-chip technology brand and it is using its search engine, Social Media and brands for 24/7/365 marketing of its driverless technology. Google has logged the most driverless miles of any of these companies, and it’s been working to perfect the driverless technology in the Fiat Chrysler Pacifica.

Delphi Automotive, spun off from AC-Delco, has a long history of manufacturing high-quality automotive parts. Delphi’s driverless technology won a top picks of CES award from Mashable.

“Our cars were able to handle a variety of urban driving scenarios, such as handling pedestrian crossings, intersections and traffic lights,” said Kristen Kinley, global communications manager, electronics and safety division, Delphi Automotive. Delphi is promoting self-driving Audi SUVs.

Nvidia has experience in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) gaming world, and its Drive PX 2 is aimed at delivering driverless automobile functionality. First adopters will feel comfortable using well-recognized Nvidia technology. This makes beta testing easier, too.

Tesla is on the cutting-edge of energy technology, it is offering a “summon car” feature that will allow owners to retrieve a vehicle anywhere in the country.

Mercedes-Benz is one of the top automobile brands in the world, and it has representation in most market niches, including being used as taxis in Africa. “The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space,” said Dieter Zetsche, CEO, Daimler AG. The Mercedes-Benz S 500 Intelligent Drive is the company’s driverless offering.

Trend: Environmental tie-ins
Audi Cars Link to Traffic Signals

Audi began releasing its first series of vehicles equipped with the ability to receive information from traffic lights. The German carmaker said these new cars will be the first step in creating smarter and safer cities by reducing traffic and collisions and by providing drivers with quality information and convenience.

The 2017 Q7 and A4 models are equipped with this technology, and Audi worked with local governments and communication companies to open networks in five to seven major American cities. Audi's new cars wirelessly communicate via an Idirect VSAT network to provide drivers with information about local traffic lights in select cities. All of this data is transferred wirelessly over a cloud platform. The vehicles accomplish all this via the built-in LTE data modem, for now, but Audi also has plans for dedicated short range communications technology via Wi-Fi.

Trend: Get tougher to get ahead
Ruggedized Cellular Routers for Smart Vehicles

CalAmp, a provider of wireless products, services and solutions, introduced the Vanguard vehicle-grade family of cellular routers, enabled with PEG, CalAmp's proprietary programmable event generator, which continuously monitors vehicle operating environments and responds to pre-defined and configurable threshold conditions such as motion, location, geo-zone crossings and custom parameters.

The telematics alert engine functionality enables the routers to integrate directly with a vehicle's CAN bus interface to provide access to engine diagnostic interface data, to track vehicle location and speed, and to monitor key driver behavior metrics like hard braking, cornering and acceleration. The goal was to support a sophisticated combination of vehicle data access and delivery, and allow a broad array of real-time, connected applications. In terms of security, the company said it provides a secure digital hub for mobile workers to connect multiple smart devices, laptops, and the vehicle itself to empower business applications and analytics software.

“As the leading provider of telematics systems with more than seven million devices currently deployed, CalAmp's vehicle-grade router family provides secure broadband connectivity integrated with its core competency in smart vehicle solutions,” said Mike Zachan, SVP and GM, Wireless Networks, CalAmp. “Our Vanguard router family now includes CalAmp's full suite of market-leading vehicle telematics technology that has been deployed worldwide by some of the largest and most sophisticated companies across the transportation ecosystem.”

Trend: Big enterprise spends big money
Verizon spends $3.4 billion in IOT in Two Months

A few years ago, Verizon bought Hughes telematics for $612 million, and then developed Network Fleet as its in-house branded telematics solution for small to medium fleets. Despite having a decent position, it wasn’t really playing at the level of the dedicated providers like Omnitracs, Fleetmatics or PeopleNet. Then in the last year, Verizon gobbled up Telogis for nearly a billion dollars. Telogis has worked with both GM and Ford on OEM Embedded solutions, and might be there to put a shot of adrenaline in the arm of Verizon’s flat telematics shop.

And then, the biggest bite of all came when it closed the acquisition of Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion, in the last part of the year. All told, it gives Verizon about 18 percent of the total marketplace.

Some analysts, like our friend James Brehm, thought this was a terrible strategic move, but snapping up such a large bit of this still developing connected transportation market seems like a solid move to me.

Trend: Supercomputing for super-computing
IMB Watson Powers Self-Driving Vehicle in Key Test Markets

Autonomous cars are cruising ever closer to on-road operations. IBM Watson and Local Motors, a vehicle technology integrator, scored approvals for three testbeds in Washington D.C., Las Vegas and Miami-Dade County, to test out a self-driving vehicle that integrates the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM’s Watson supercomputer.

The vehicle, dubbed ‘Olli,’ can carry up to 12 people and is powered by the brain of IBM Watson IoT for Automotive, which is used to improve the passenger experience and allow natural interaction with the vehicle. Olli is being tested on public roads locally in D.C., Miami-Dade County and Las Vegas.

“Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue,” Rogers said. “Olli with Watson acts as our entry into the world of self-driving vehicles, something we’ve been quietly working on with our co-creative community for the past year. We are now ready to accelerate the adoption of this technology and apply it to nearly every vehicle in our current portfolio and those in the very near future. I’m thrilled to see what our open community will do with the latest in advanced vehicle technology.”

Olli was the first vehicle to use cloud-based cognitive computing capability of IBM Watson IoT to analyze and learn from high volumes of transportation data, produced by more than 30 sensors embedded throughout the vehicle. The platform leveraged four Watson developer APIs, which are: Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text to Speech, to enable interactions between the vehicle and passengers.

“Cognitive computing provides incredible opportunities to create unparalleled, customized experiences for customers, taking advantage of the massive amounts of streaming data from all devices connected to the Internet of Things, including an automobile’s myriad sensors and systems,” said Harriet Green, GM, Commerce & Education, IBM Watson Internet of Things.

“IBM is excited to work with Local Motors to infuse IBM Watson IoT cognitive computing capabilities into Olli, exploring the art of what's possible in a world of self-driving vehicles and providing a unique, personalized experience for every passenger while helping to revolutionize the future of transportation for years to come.”

Trend: Retrofitting
How to Turn Dumb Cars into IoT-Enabled Smart Transportation

T-Mobile’s SyncUP DRIVE is designed to make almost any car smarter in order to unlock its data for the driver, and ZTE and Mojio built it and deployed it together to do just that. ZTE is a provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, and Mojio is an open platform for connected cars. The SyncUP DRIVE solution combines ZTE’s IoT device with Mojio's cloud-based platform and mobile app, Motion, and powers it all on T-Mobile’s network.

“Over the next five years the global economy will continue to transform and be connected together more than ever,” said Lixin Cheng, SVP, ZTE Corporation. “Our M-ICT 2.0 strategy is helping us lead this transformation and we're excited to showcase this through teaming up with Mojio and T-Mobile in bringing the T-Mobile SyncUP DRIVE solution to consumers in the U.S.”

Working with most vehicles from 1996 and newer, the T-Mobile SyncUP DRIVE solution plugs into the car's OBD-II port to not only unlock 4G LTE Wi-Fi access for passengers, but enable enhanced features such as virtual fences to know when your loved ones are arriving and departing common locations.

“The Motion app combines years of research with an intuitive user interface to enable a new kind of automotive peace of mind,” said Kenny Hawk, CEO, Mojio. “The goal of this IoT collaboration is to improve the relationship we have with our cars by adding enhanced safety, security and connectivity capabilities to the cars we already drive.”

Trend: Municipalities take leadership roles
Knoxville Makes Play for Connected & Self-Driving Industry

Knoxville, Tennessee made a play to dominate the Connected Automation marketplace with the announcement of a new plan to become a cutting-edge testbed for connected and autonomous vehicles.

After meeting with transportation leaders from around the nation, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero established a working group of City staff, and public and private regional partners to look into how to make the city the heart of America’s Smart Transportation industry.

The mayor met with Bill Malkes, CEO and co-Founder, GRIDSMART; Paul Brubaker, president and CEO, The Alliance for Transportation Innovation; Carlos Braceras, director, Utah DoT; Randy Iwasaki, executive director, Contra Costa Transportation Authority; and Regina Hopper, president and CEO, Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

The region’s four-season climate, hills and flat terrain and its existing technology corridor makes the greater Knoxville area an ideal testing ground for most road and driving conditions to be faced by these vehicles, Rogero said.

“Between technological innovators like GRIDSMART, the research resources at UT and ORNL and our regional automotive manufacturers, Knoxville is a natural place for a connected-vehicle test bed,” she went on. “We are excited by the possibilities and will be exploring ways to put our region at the forefront of intelligent transportation development.”

Trend: U.S. Government takes a hand
US DoT Announces Committee on Automation in Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that he will establish an Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT), which will serve as a critical resource for the Department in framing federal policy for the continued development and deployment of automated transportation.

“This committee will help determine how, when, and where automated technology will transform the way we move,” said Foxx. “The Department has advanced some of the life-saving benefits of automated technologies, including automated vehicle policy, but we are looking outside the government for innovative and thoughtful leaders to uncover its full potential across all modes.”

Members of the Committee will assess the Department’s current research, policy and regulatory support to advance the safe and effective use of autonomous vehicles. They will also engage in information gathering, develop technical advice, and present recommendations to the Secretary on automated and connected road and transit vehicle technologies, enhanced freight movement technologies, railroad automated technologies, aviation automated navigation systems technologies, unmanned aircraft systems, and advanced technology deployment in surface transportation environments. In particular, the ATAC will perform these activities as they may relate to emerging or “not-yet-conceived” innovations to ensure the Department is prepared when disruptive technologies emerge.

Committee members serve two-year terms, with no more than two consecutive term re­appointments.

In this weekly series, we’ll be previewing chapters for you to read in the hopes that you’ll like enough to read the whole thing. To do just that, for free, click here. Alternatively, there’s a paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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