More and more devices are being connected to the internet, from household appliances that act as the brain of the kitchen, to ‘smart health’ wearables that can measure a person’s living conditions and health issues. But the revolutionary IoT movement isn’t confined to small, personal items. Let's look at how the internet of things will power the vehicles of the future, highlighting technology trends set to transform the driving experience.

    Artificial Intelligence, Voice Control and Virtual Personal Assistants

    Today’s cars are loaded with high-tech features, but touch-screen and texting systems can often be a dangerous distraction for drivers. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) and voice control comes in. Automakers such as Hyundai and Kia are now looking at the concept of using AI as a voice-controlled, virtual personal assistant. Your virtual personal assistant will be able to remind you of an upcoming appointment and even control features in the car like the sat-nav, giving you safe and hands-free control of devices while driving.

    Powered by voice control, your assistant could even answer questions about the weather and suggest when you need to set off for a journey based on live traffic conditions. AI interfaces are expected to be introduced as early as 2019 or 2020.

    Technology Allowing Cars to ‘Talk’ to Each Other

    Vehicle to vehicle (V2V) technology was hailed as a significant technological breakthrough for car safety by the MIT Technology Review back in 2015**. So what is it – and are we any closer to this technology being implemented?

    Simply put, V2V technology is the transmission of data between vehicles using network technology like cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X), essentially enabling vehicles to “talk” to each other. Through talking to each other, vehicles will be able to share data on speed and road conditions, and ultimately alert each other to potentially dangerous driving conditions. This makes cars safer because it greatly extends the range of on-car sensors, and can even alert drivers to vehicles hidden around corners, or approaching junctions (where 40% of motorbike crashes occur).

    Depending on how the technology is applied, the driver may either receive a warning alert, or the vehicle may even spring into action, taking preventative measures such as braking or slowing down – bringing the automated car one step closer.

    Driverless Cars & Automatic Repairs

    Driverless cars work off numerous connected IoT technologies, from GPS technology and sensors, cameras and lasers, to sophisticated software analyses that send instructions to the car’s controls. Some of the biggest companies in the world are investing huge sums of money into building self-driving cars, and these fully-autonomous vehicles could be on the road by 2021, according to the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport.

    A self-driving car is one thing – but what about a car automatically booking itself in for repairs or refusing to move if it may put the driver at risk? Currently, the responsibility for car maintenance lies with the driver. But just as smart refrigerators know when to order groceries and home automation systems know when to turn the heating on, smart cars know when they need maintenance check-ups.

    IoT will allow vehicles to constantly monitor their own health through diagnostics, so if there is an issue with a crucial car part or system, the vehicle could simply refuse to move. This technology will continue to improve over the next few years.

    Vodacom Live Track - Vehicle Tracking

    With Vodacom LiveTrack, you can track any vehicle in near real-time via a secure website. It combines Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology and our advanced GSM network, enabling you to accurately locate your asset within a five-meter radius and provide relevant assistance should it ever become necessary. LiveTrack also provides a detailed report on every trip, which is invaluable for tracking business versus personal travel expenses for tax purposes and ensuring that drivers stick to their routes and drive responsibly.

    For more information on Vodacom Live Track visit Vodacom Business online.