According to McKinsey, today’s cars—gasoline and electric—run on about 100 million lines of programming and the computing power of 20 personal computers. All that tech is internally focused on the car itself. But increasingly, car owners, businesses and governments are turning their attention to how cars can connect to the outside world to improve safety, performance and the in-car experience.
Such a mobile computing platform, operating on a network of roads and contending with real-time changes in terrain, weather, traffic and operating status, is a perfect environment for situational intelligence applications.
For example, many cars use GPS and sensors to provide predicative analytics about remaining driving range based on current amount of gasoline or battery charge. As a more advanced example, in a previous post I described how Tesla is using situational intelligence to combat range anxiety by ensuring drivers can easily remain in range of a charging station.
By connecting to external sources of data, individual cars could use situational intelligence applications to enhance performance and experience, such as
- Predicting duration of consumables such as oil, brake and steering fluids, antifreeze and wiper blades
- Identifying early warning signs of malfunctioning systems
- Gasoline and charging optimization (“When and where should I fuel next?”)
- Electricity charging station reservations
By connecting with each other as well as external sources of data, groups of cars could also contribute to and benefit from situational intelligence applications. Possibilities include
- Accurate, real-time measurement for traffic rate of flow
- Real-time weather mapping based on sensor data for multiple cars
- Proximity safety in dense traffic environments
- Car platooning and other throughput improvements
- Corporate fleet analytics and management
- Verifying outdoor advertising exposure
And of course, there’s the ultimate in connected vehicles–the self-driving car.
Business Insider predicts that by 2020, 75 percent of cars shipped globally will be built with the necessary hardware to connect to the internet.
As you can see, you do need to buy a Tesla or other electric vehicle to benefit from situational intelligence while on the road.