IoT and Internet in the car make family road trips fun and easy
During the middle of our long and rather dark Swedish winter, my colleague and I began to dream about summer and our upcoming vacations with our respective families. What if we actually owned a connected car -- the project that we’ve been working on for so many years?
It would be the perfect getaway for our young families – a road trip along Sweden’s scenic west coast where the landscape varies from rocky coastlines to open fields and vast forests. This would be a road trip unlike any other, we thought, especially with IoT and Internet in the car!
There are so many hidden traps for a family on a long trip – so many pointless opportunities for family squabbles and disagreements – so we knew that we'd better be prepared for the road.
Step one for us would be to ensure the car is connected to IoT devices and can access the internet anytime, anywhere. After all, a connected car, for us and our families, means a safe and pleasant journey.
A connected car makes the whole trip much more enjoyable for the family and that's mostly because of the different onboard infotainment features such as high definition video streaming, live events, and on-line gaming. Even if our partners were going to drive the car, we could at the same time, browse the internet and have audio/video conversations with anyone in the world – whether that's calling up where we're staying tonight, or sending a video postcard to grandma.
We can do all of that because of cellular IoT and the Broadband IoT connectivity that gives us multi-Gbps data rates!
Of course a connected car also gets high definition maps in real-time for navigation and route assistance. Imagine if at one point, we were stuck in traffic with our young child, outside of Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city. Traffic could be nearly at a standstill on both sides of the highway but our connected navigation system would help us to find faster routes and short cuts.
But more importantly, while we were still stuck in traffic -- inching our way forward at a crawling pace -- our kids would be kept quiet if they were able to watch and enjoy a live sports event.
Our car would also have a hidden wireless tracker through Massive IoT connectivity. When connected to cellular network, it can be tracked and recovered if its ever stolen and it has a long battery life, so it works even without being wired into the car battery. It also has a number of other helpful features, like the wireless sensors and actuators that monitor air-pressure and oil levels.
We could even remotely turn on the air conditioning in my car few minutes before the starting our ride – which would be great for summer! And the Massive IoT connectivity ensures connectivity and extended device battery life to lots of sensors on the car so we always know it's in good shape.
The cellular connection also means information at our fingertips. The car gets timely warnings if there is a slippery road, roadworks or a traffic accident ahead of us. Or, we get informed of road hazards, and the family can find out about all the sights we're passing, and plan ahead for the viewpoint, or ice cream break.
As more cars are being connected to mobile networks, our connected car will become increasingly aware of the surroundings. For example, it can know the position and speed of approaching cars and trucks and it can tell them about how we are driving so that we can avoid collisions, and ensure safe lane changes.
When cars start to become driverless, they'll demand even faster, ultra-reliable cellular connections for real-time interaction and coordination with the environment including the traffic infrastructure, other vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians. That's going to need critical IoT – and we're going to make sure that our next new car has it as soon as it's on the market!
Which cellular IoT segment fits your IoT use case?
Massive IoT connectivity targets huge volumes of low-cost devices that infrequently send or receive messages, with years of battery life and enhanced signal coverage. The traffic is often tolerant of delay and typical use cases include low-cost sensors, meters, wearables and trackers.
Broadband IoT connectivity adopts the capabilities of mobile broadband connectivity for IoT by providing much higher data rates and lower latencies than Massive IoT, while utilizing functionalities that are specific to machine-type communications for coverage extension and extended device battery life.
Critical IoT connectivity pushes the boundaries of Cellular IoT even further by enabling extremely low latencies and ultra-high reliability at a variety of data rates. Powered by the most innovative capabilities of 5G NR, Critical IoT is expected to enable many new use cases within the IoT arena.
Industrial Automation IoT provides advanced cellular IoT functionalities tailored for industrial automation in conjunction with the other cellular IoT segments. It includes capabilities to facilitate support of deterministic networks which, together with ethernet-based protocols and other industrial protocols, will enable many advanced industrial automation applications.
If you want to read more about different cellular IoT segments, check our white paper here.