Big data is being used in connected cars to offer better services and improve customer experience. This is primarily done through vehicle telematics and other sources of data.
For instance, an insurance company could use big data analytics to monitor a driver’s driving habits and provide them with discounted rates.
Modern cars are equipped with a myriad of sensors that produce a constant stream of data. These sensors measure things like location, performance, physical parameters and driving behavior, often several times per second. By some estimates, a single connected car generates 25 gigabytes of data every hour—the equivalent of 30 hours of HD video or a month of music streaming.
Car data is an invaluable resource for mobility companies, especially if it is used to improve safety and convenience features or support the development of autonomous vehicles. However, it is important to remember that the same technology that increases road safety and convenience can also expose drivers’ personal information to potential third parties.
In many countries, laws require automakers to inform their customers in a transparent, intelligible and easily accessible way about how their data is processed. This can prove challenging when data is transferred to third parties such as insurance companies, law enforcement agencies or traffic mobility platforms like otonomo and INRIX.
Cars equipped with Big Data can help reduce road accidents and injuries. They can identify and warn drivers of possible dangers, such as sharp curves, slippery roads or sudden stops, preventing dangerous driving.
Connected cars can also collect traffic and weather data for smarter city planning, as well as provide useful information to emergency services in case of a crash. However, the large amount of data collected poses a privacy risk. Excessive data collection can be used for advertising or other purposes, which is not in line with the data minimisation principle of GDPR.
While every player involved in the connected car ecosystem can benefit from these use cases, some will reap more benefits than others. For example, dealerships can improve sales efficiency, insurance companies will be able to offer usage-based insurance policies and infrastructure players can better understand traffic patterns. Moreover, safety-oriented drivers who don’t mind being monitored might be rewarded with lower car insurance rates.
The connectivity of modern cars enables them to send data in real-time. This information can help businesses and car owners improve their driving experience and manage fleets of vehicles more efficiently.
One way companies can use this information is to send over-the-air (OTA) software and firmware updates to the vehicles. This can save time and money. It can also provide vehicle owners with new functions and features, such as speed and distance alerts.
Typically, car manufacturers spend millions of dollars to develop a new model. However, they have no way to know whether or not it will perform as intended after it leaves the factory. Big data can turn this around, allowing automakers to see how their vehicles perform and identify any design flaws before they cause any serious injuries or accidents. This could save the company millions of dollars and a lot of grief.
There are a lot of potential use cases for data coming out of connected cars, such as better-organized traffic flows. It can also help with the development of rest zones in places where accidents are concentrated or more stoplights are needed, as well as ensuring navigation systems don’t steer drivers down one-way streets in the wrong direction.
Cars generate a staggering amount of data, with some estimates saying they produce 40TB for eight hours of driving. The vast amount of information must be filtered and analyzed for specific needs. Connected vehicle platforms do this by cleaning the data, fusing it for accuracy and compressing it to save storage space. Critical data that requires immediate reaction is decompressed and sent to the car, while non-critical info is stored in the cloud.
Automotive connectivity platforms decouple software from hardware to simplify the management of different services and roll out new ones seamlessly. They also provide a reliable communication infrastructure that supports millions of connected vehicles in constant ‘conversation’ with each other, without lag or security issues.