3 ways sensor data is transforming the automotive industry

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Automakers are now software companies where data is the currency of the kingdom. By Marc Huijbregts

By 2030, nearly 95% of new vehicles sold worldwide will be connected, sharing internet access and data with other devices inside and outside the vehicle. In the much nearer future, the volume of data transmitted between these connected vehicles and the cloud via sensors and associated software will approach 100 petabytes per month. Otonomo, an automotive data services platform, predicted that each connected vehicle would produce 25 GB of data per hour.

Where does that leave auto companies? With an influx of data and the potential value that comes with it. Capitalizing on this data will transform the way they do business. Automakers are now software companies where data is the currency of the kingdom.

There are warning signs that automatic data can be put to good use. For example, Volvo launched Care in 2017, the first subscription model that used new data sources to bundle a car, maintenance and insurance into a single monthly subscription. Last year, Mercedes partnered with London, England, to explore how data from connected cars could improve safety on city streets.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. As sensor technologies continue to advance, major automotive companies are beginning to transform in three important ways.

Volvo Care used new data sources to bundle a car, maintenance and insurance into one monthly subscription

From manufacturing to mobility

Outside of Tesla, the majority of automakers weren’t “born in the cloud.” However, even incumbent players with decades – and in some cases, more than a century – of experience are now adopting innovative technologies in order to stay relevant and competitive. Two recent examples that illustrate this change are Bosch and Denso.

In 2005, Bosch (founded in 1886), began manufacturing sensors for consumer electronics. Since then, he saw the opportunity in IoT and expanded his business accordingly. Through his Mobility products and services group, Bosch now provides sensing solutions to global automakers that enable autonomous driving, active safety features and predictive maintenance. These sensing solutions create a continuous stream of massive amounts of data and, when analyzed at scale, can be leveraged to create new business opportunities. For example, an automaker can collect and analyze data from car sensors and share that data with insurers to change the way insurance policies are created.

Similarly, Denso has a broad portfolio of products and services inherited from its initial auto parts business, but has recently evolved into a provider of mobility solutions that connect vehicles to the IoT.bDenso produces an advanced computing platform that connects vehicles to cloud networks to offer new services. . The architecture reproduces real urban environments and traffic conditions in a virtual space; collects data, then analyzes it to anticipate traffic problems. The data is used by service providers, including administrative agencies and service shops, to facilitate repairs and maintenance. This way, mobility service providers can analyze data and control vehicles securely from the cloud, matching vehicles with the right services and ultimately reducing service times and costs.

Bosch mobility solutions
The Bosch mobility solutions web portal presents highlights from the areas of connected mobility, automated mobility, drive systems and electrified mobility

Denso believes that the only way to eliminate accidents is to equip all forms of mobility with safety technologies, from sensors that determine traffic patterns, environmental conditions and even a driver’s health status, to algorithms and control systems that can make split-second decisions.

Stimulate new innovations

Vehicle sensors are also used in other modes of transportation such as long distance trucking. Aurora, an autonomous vehicle company, is developing technology that can be integrated into cars and trucks for self-driving capabilities.

The company’s technology platform, the Aurora Driver, consists of sensors that perceive the world, software that traces a safe path through it, and the computer that powers them and integrates them into the world. vehicle. Rather than relying on a single type of sensor for self-driving technology, Aurora combines the strengths of different types of sensors: high-resolution cameras, 4D imaging radar, and its custom LiDAR technology that allows trucks to drive faster far and to travel more. safely at high speed, to create a more reliable system. They then license the technology to autonomous vehicle fleet companies so that they can keep data, analytics, and information on all miles traveled across all vehicle fleets.

Generate new sources of revenue

General Motors was one of the first traditional automakers to collect connected car data with the introduction of OnStar in 1996. A key by-product of OnStar is that it provides a variety of driver behavior data that GM can monetize. In 2021, GM reported that it had 20 million connected cars on the road in 47 countries, which translates to huge amounts of data and potential new revenue opportunities. One such opportunity is OnStar Insurance, a user-based insurance service that focuses on things like individual vehicle usage and rewards for safe driving habits. Using built-in vehicle sensors, OnStar Insurance tracks vehicle usage and driving habits and uses this data to offer discounts and incentives to drivers who drive safely.

OnStar Insurance
OnStar Insurance reflects the shift to an integrated, data-driven car insurance model

OnStar Insurance is just one of approximately 20 start-ups GM has planned with the goal of doubling annual revenue by 2030. GM expects annual software and services revenue opportunities to be between $20 billion and $25 billion, out of a forecast of 30 million connected vehicles. by the end of the decade. The OnStar connectivity platform has more than 16 million connected vehicles on the road today, according to GM, with software and services generating an expected annual revenue of $2 billion. OnStar Insurance is a key driver of this growth, as GM projects it will have a potential revenue opportunity of more than $6 billion per year by the end of the decade.

As the vehicle continues to evolve from a simple mode of transportation to a product that delivers new services and value through cloud network connections, the automotive industry must act quickly to reap the benefits: revenue , profits, customer retention, etc. —to exploit new sources of information throughout the life cycle of the automotive value chain.


About the author: Marc Huijbregts is Global IoT Lead at WANdisco

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