IoT is considered the most groundbreaking technology that has emerged in recent years that has turned the world upside down. A large number of devices can automatically perform the processing of data without human participation. The automotive industry has not been left behind in applying this technology, influencing the approach used in cars while purchasing and driving them (Meunier et al., 2014, p.13). The IoT reflects on the technological revolution that informs the future of communications and computing. Its development is dependent on the dynamic technical innovation in various fields that are considered essential. The lack of innovative features in vehicles significantly contributed to the inability of the automotive industry to break through in its annual production and sales in the past years. This is because buyers in the modern days go looking for innovative features such as more than four tires and a steering wheel in a car and seek more for the futuristic vehicle that allows them to connect and interact (Janeera et al., 2020, p.201). Thus, IoT is considered as one such disruptive technology which has proved beneficial in the automobile sector towards building a batch of next-generation vehicles.
Objectives of the Study
The automotive industry is considered the biggest and essential manufacturing industry globally that has embraced innovativeness with the implementation of IoT towards building a batch of next-generation vehicles (Meunier et al., 2014, p.11). Besides the direct application of IoT for autonomous driving, smart or machine-readable infrastructures have been revolutionized to have smooth and safe driving. Therefore, the purpose of the current paper is to examine IoT in the automotive industry, focusing on the applications, benefits, and how the technology had transformed the sector over the period when manufacturers adopted it. Thus, the study’s objectives are to critically analyze the applications of IoT in the automotive industry, establish the key reasons behind the adoption of IoT in the automotive industry, and determine the benefits and how the adoption of IoT has transformed the automotive industry.
Reasons for IoT Deployment
From the previous research, the deployment and application of IoT in the automotive industry are contextualized as part of industry 4.0. Chimata et al. (2018, p.4) critically analyzed industry 4.0 in relation to the use of IoT with the manufacturing sector and based on technology concepts. IoT and industrial 4.0 worlds concurrently focus on the convenience for consumers as individuals and on improving safety, efficiency, and operational productivity while focusing on the investment return. According to Kirk (2015, p.20), the paradigm shift of smart manufacturing marked the beginning when IoT was adopted in the automotive industry. There was the adoption of the Industry 4.0 manufacturing strategy by BMW to facilitate their factories with greater efficiency and flexibility.
IoT Applications in Automotive
Significant research has been conducted in relation to how IoT applies in the automotive industry. The critical analysis by Kirk (2015, p.19) highlights the connectivity by IoT, mobile apps, and smart sensors as devices that have revolutionized the interaction with and use of automobiles. This follows the multiple applications of IoT in the automotive industry that have been significant in increasing the performance of the design results, facilitate control of quality, and cost reduction. From the study by Rahim et al. (2020, p.285), the applications of IoT in automotive are limitless because Industry 4.0 has paved the way with artificial intelligence and IoT. Among the top applications of IoT within automobiles include systems of in-vehicle infotainment, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) applications, Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communication, and navigation and telematics solutions.
IoT Transforming Automotive Industry
IoT has transformed the automotive industry through some of the biggest innovations that have been developed and implemented. Schuhmacher (2015) critically evaluated the various ways through which IoT has been able to transform automobiles. According to the author, the way people drive has been changed since drivers can now be in full control of their driving processes. The increased integration of cars through widespread automation has made recognition and communication easier. Martínez de Aragón et al. (2018, p.14) indicated that IoT has been able to provide smart infrastructure without traffic congestion to ensure road efficiency and safety.
Since the study intended to investigate the adoption of IoT in the automotive industry, the most appropriate study design considered was the case study approach. The case study was suitable because the automotive industry is wide and significant both in the US and across the world (Zucker, 2009, p.2). The industry is made up of a large number of companies popularly known for the manufacture of automobiles, such as Cisco, Ford, IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, TomTom, Google, General Motors, Audi, NXP Semiconductors, and Apple. The data collected for the study was secondary to establish the IoT in the automotive industry with specific reference to AT&T Inc., TomTom International B.V., and NXP Semiconductors N.V as the sample for the current investigation.
IoT used by Sample Companies
The three automotive companies, AT&T Inc., TomTom International B.V., and NXP Semiconductors N.V have employed a significant number of applications in an attempt to utilize technology. For AT&T Inc., the company has IoT applications such as connected car services and products, fleet management, electronic and telematics systems into complex vehicles, C-V2X (Cellular-vehicle-to-everything), 5G and autonomous vehicle technology, and in-vehicle entertainment. AT&T Inc. has been working around the clock to ensure that they meet the needs of the many tech-savvy car owners whose number has been growing on a daily basis as they look for the latest connected car technology.
The significant focus by the manufacturers in the automotive industry has been on improving the experience of drivers on the road. However, limited or no attention has been given to extend the same feeling to homes. Therefore, there is a need for AT&T Inc., TomTom International B.V., NXP Semiconductors N.V, and other companies to find a way of how to link connected cars to home technologies services. This will create a platform that is easy to use by all the users and strengthen the position of the business in the market. Research on the applications of IoT by the automotive companies reveals that only a few companies, such as AT&T, have collaborated with others, including those operating in other sectors, especially in the technology industry, such as Google Inc., Verizon, and Vodafone, to make modern advances in vehicles. Therefore, there is a substantial need for most of the companies, if not all, in the automotive industry to collaborate with others to make a strong connection that optimizes the security and safety of the users.
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Janeera, D.A., Gnanamalar, S.S.R., Ramya, K.C. and Kumar, A.A., 2020. Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Secure Autonomous Vehicles for Smart Cities. Automotive Embedded Systems: Key Technologies, Innovations, and Applications, p.201.