The car of the future will be a clean, lean, data-generating and processing super-vehicle. It will communicate with road infrastructure and other vehicles to collect essential data on an almost unlimited range of useful information, from road conditions to vehicle performance, via safety hazards and places to visit. Megabyte upon megabyte (and even terabytes!) of data will be sent to a Cloud on a real-time basis. Advanced data centers connected through powerfully fast and reliable 5G networks will act as information superhighways to drive the data that drives the car… including driverless cars! Progress in IT, analytics, the Cloud and embedded technology is transforming the driving experience. And the automotive industry will continue to move forward at breakneck speed for many years to come as it harnesses this technology.
IoT and connected cars: Talking about “talking” cars
Today’s connected cars are equipped with sensors and powerful microprocessors that collect and analyze data in real time. New features are being developed with this new technology, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-x (V2X) communication. V2V allows cars to “talk” to each other and determine each other’s speed and GPS locations to adjust driving or speed as needed. V2X, for its part, allows cars to “talk” to road infrastructures, such as traffic lights, intersections and construction work sites, to improve road safety and efficiency. This might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but in fact the future is closer than we might think. By 2020, Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica Digital forecasts that up to 90% of new vehicles in the EU will have some sort of built-in Internet connectivity.
Connectivity driving industry
This connectivity is driving the major trends of change not only in the automotive sector, but in other industries as well and society as a whole. People everywhere are seeking more comfort, safety and simplicity in everything they do in their cars, their homes, their workplace, their leisure activities and all other aspects of their lives. These changes are all being enabled, in large part, by uninterrupted connectivity. And connected cars are even changing the way we manufacture!
Clearly, car drivers are not only looking at engine power, trunk size or fuel consumption but also want to access connectivity services. “Does this car come with an app to get my e-mails, book restaurants, browse online or park my car?” are among the most frequent customer requests. Smart technology is the key to providing these new services, as well as making safer and more environmentally friendly vehicles. Another area in the automotive industry where technology is making leaps and bounds is safety. Smart technology today allows us to realistically target 0 road accident fatalities. Yes, that’s right, ZERO!
The sensitive job of protecting sensors
This technological innovation means that car manufacturers must now collaborate even more closely with IT and telecom companies, as well as infrastructure builders and managers to create and operate the systems for tomorrow’s cars. With the driving experience and road safety relying on a myriad of sensors and microprocessors, it’s essential to protect these embedded systems so that they function properly and reliably. As silicone experts, we know what it takes to protect those fragile and sensitive IoT components in the connected cars of the future.
To find out more, read our article on how silicones can help protect IoT technology and other key electronics: