Future of Car Notifications
Could Your Car Give You Live Updates About Traffic...As You Drive?ITS: The Intelligent Transportation System. This was an idea that started development back in the early 2010s, to hit the streets as soon as the development allowed. Now it is becoming more and more widespread, with Toyota starting to sell upgrades for existing vehicles, publicising the rise of ITS at the end of 2015. This begs the question - what is ITS and how can it benefit drivers?
The ITS comprises of two things. The first is the capability for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications. The second is for the ability to improve the driving style of the driver. This includes improved and advanced cruise control, additional safety warnings about cameras and red lights, and improved communication between cars and the world in which we live. It is an idea, the growth of satellite navigation to digital cars, in-car tech to in-built car tech, coming to fruition.
Live Traffic Updates
At present there are live traffic updates available to some cars via radio or mobile networks. These can be slow and inaccurate due to the nature of mobile networks, and these can also lose their effectiveness where signal strength is not good. The middle of Worcestershire, as one example, has almost no mobile signal and poor radio reception. It is possible to see how this would be frustrating for those wanting to receive live updates in this area.
As it can be seen, the concept of live traffic updates is not a new one. Google Maps has been able to give live traffic updates for the past year, updating their in-phone sat-nav live to ensure the best possible route for commuters. The way this works however is dramatically different to the proposed inter-car communication by software such as that used by ITS. Instead of using data received from Google map apps and the Android interface, ITS uses intelligent satellite data as the communication method. Since it can track each car, knows the speed limits of each road, and see how fast each car is moving, it can use this information to broadcast to the other cars how fast traffic is going. It can tell if there is a traffic jam or an accident simply by stationary cars and some basic maths.
What we have seen before is Google using a web app as a sat-nav, allowing for all kinds of useful information to be updated, but ultimately that was separate to the car. It had its own power source. It used its own data and data transfer.
What we see now is the car doing all that for itself. The technology has been there for a while, but it is at last being integrated to where it is most useful. That is in the dashboard of the car itself, where it is of permanent use.
The Bigger Picture
According to the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, back in December 2015, cars will be *the* item to link together the Internet of Things. They will talk to each other to do far more than alert drivers of traffic, but will also communicate with your home and work to create a more holistic experience. Dirk Wollschlaeger, the General Manager of IBM's Global Automotive Industry, explained that cars in the IoT mean more concerning traffic management. Connected cars can share when they are speeding up, slowing down, and where they come to a complete halt altogether (see here) . This is through implementation of Cloud based software, used to track vehicles and their behaviour.
The potential that this kind of technology holds is phenomenal. All in all the road will potentially become a lot safer, drivers made more alert of their driving habits, and roads a lot clearer for all to use.
Safer Roads for All
At the moment we are on the brink of something amazing. We are at a technological revolution that can pave the way for change for years to come. It is a complete rewrite of the automotive industry, and an exciting one at that.
We stand of the edge of a revolution, not only in technology, but also in care. All too often technology has been associated with us caring less about the world we are in. This is set to change as we begin to care more. With our cars constantly reminding us of how to drive safely it will be impossible to deny the truth or not comply. We all stand to become better drivers because of a simple and small idea - live traffic updates in cars.