IoT has rapidly transformed the transportation industry in more ways than one. This is how:

Safety

Modern cars have a variety of sensors that can monitor the environment, detect any imminent dangers, and stop or swerve to avoid collisions. Smart vehicles can communicate with each other as well as with surrounding IoT-enabled infrastructure to make assisted driving systems more efficient and accurate. This ability can be used to alert drivers of accidents, traffic congestion, or any dangerous situations on the road. It can also help improve the quality of driverless or self-driven vehicles and make them safer for passengers as well as pedestrians.

Navigation

IoT will enable improved dynamic navigation systems by providing vehicles with real-time data about traffic, weather, and route conditions. By communicating with each other and with surrounding smart devices, vehicles can account for congestion, road closures, blockages, etc and dynamically come up with a highly optimised route. These optimised routes can be communicated to human drivers by supplementing the existing GPS-based navigation systems or directly passed on to the automated driving systems. The improved navigation system will result in faster travel times as well as increased safety on roads.

Maintenance

Timely maintenance of vehicles is necessary for several reasons. It improves safety by avoiding untimely and unfortunate failures that could possibly result in accidents. It maximises the lifespan of the vehicles and usually results in lower maintenance costs. However, oftentimes human drivers do not realise when maintenance is required, leading to avoidable issues with the vehicles.

IoT can help automatically monitor the health of vehicles and alert the drivers whenever the performance of any of the components drops below the optimum level. This can help minimise damages by ensuring the repair needs are met immediately. This information can also be communicated to other vehicles on the road allowing them to assess the risk of possible accidents. Manufacturers can track this information to identify quality issues and improve their products.

Logistics

IoT can prove invaluable for businesses that operate large fleets of vehicles and need to know where each vehicle is and track their operations. Not only can IoT help businesses easily track the locations of their vehicles, but it can also provide a variety of other inputs that can help improve transparency and make their operations more efficient.

For example, any disruptions or delays can be tracked in real-time allowing businesses to improve their delivery efficiency and provide customers with more accurate timelines. Similarly, vehicle condition and fuel economy can be monitored and routine operation costs such as maintenance, repair and fuel costs can be optimised. Using IoT-optimised navigation systems and driverless vehicles can further help businesses deliver faster and at lower costs.

Public and Shared Transport

For reasons that range from rising cost-consciousness to concerns for the environment, the world is increasingly moving towards public transport and ride-sharing options for their daily commutes. IoT can help make these modes of transport safer, more efficient, and more convenient.

With IoT, cities can make their public transport systems more user-friendly by providing real-time updates on the location of vehicles, availability of seats, and any delays or disruptions in their regular routes. Similarly, IoT-integration can improve ride-sharing systems by allowing users to better track the location and availability of vehicles.

IoT integration can also enable smart rental systems for vehicles such as bicycles and scooters, allowing users to track the locations of available vehicles and also check their condition, fuel levels, etc. IoT can also help businesses provide better services to their customers by tracking factors such as demand density and vehicle utilisation.

IoT is becoming increasingly popular across the transportation sector with many of these possibilities already becoming realities. Apart from the plethora of start-ups that have entered the industry, established businesses are also quickly getting on board with IoT-integrated transport systems. We can definitely expect to see even more aggressive adoption of the technology in the coming years.