Internet of Things in Autonomous Car Industry. An Overview

Academic Paper, 2018

8 Pages, Grade: A


Table of content

1. The Origin of IoT in Autonomous Vehicle Industry

2. Challenge and Risk

3. The Current State of the Autonomous Vehicles Industry

4. Expected Future State

5. Business Rationale and Expected Economic Benefits

6. Reference

1. The Origin of IoT in Autonomous Vehicle Industry

The origin of IoT usage within vehicle industry date back in early 1958, where the idea of the self-driving car became prominent (Ninan, Simon, et al). It was not until 1995 during the embedded era that different auto companies started exploring the connectivity aspect of the car and the roads, for instance, GM OnStar. But the idea was never implemented because of its capital-intensive involvement, lack of competition and use cases at the time. The first experience of true IoT was seen during infotainment era which ranges from 2007 to 2012 (refer to figure 1 below). During this era, the car technology such as Ford Sync and GM Mylink took advantage of wireless connectivity aspect which was enabled by the wireless IoT technology. It was at this time the IoT usage in connecting autonomous car through smart cities and different car networks became prevalent. The image below highlights the key eras where the IoT experienced an exponential growth until today. (This image was deleted by the editors due to copyright issues).

2. Challenge and Risk

Today’s automakers are still facing fierce competition and challenges. Essentially, an autonomous car needs to replace a human driver from three aspects: perception, computing and control (Tim Menke, 2017). The technology to complete these tasks is achieved through several kinds of high-tech devices, including cameras, radars and computers. Cameras and radars can receive photos and sounds while computers will integrate all the information and hand out instructions to control electronics just as human brains do.

However, these high-tech devices have some risks. For example, cameras perform well in identifying shapes and colors, but they are bad at calculating the distance between cars and surrounding objects. The main computer of the car requires the high-level system to guarantee accuracy and safety.

In addition to technical problems, policy and regulation issues are also challenging for automakers. Although some cities nationwide have allowed autonomous vehicle testing on public roads, there are still many other cities that are not prepared for large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicles (NEWS STAFF, 2017). They still need time for the government to consider the benefits and drawbacks.

3. The Current State of the Autonomous Vehicles Industry


The level of “autonomy” currently available on the market is 2, which enables partial automation (refer to figure 2 below). One of the best-known products at this level is Tesla Model S (refer to figure 3 for full list). Level 3 and 4 (and even level 5 in few cases) vehicles are currently being tested by many car manufacturers, suppliers, and platform developers such as GM and NVIDIA.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The major participants in the self-driving car industry can be segmented in 3 groups: Platform Developers, Suppliers, and Automakers.

Platform/System Developers

WHO: NVIDIA, Waymo (with Google), CMU Navlab, Cisco, AutonomouStuff

WHAT THEY ARE DOING: Platform Developers are building an integrated system (software + hardware + firmware) that enables cars to drive with little or no human interruption. They are looking to either sell their products to automakers, merge with them, or start their own brand.


WHO: Samsung, LG, Bosch, Mobileye, Intel, Aptiv (with NuTonomy)

WHAT THEY ARE DOING: Suppliers produce the autonomous vehicles’ essential components such as chips, sensors, cameras, software to embed in, and cloud computing power, but not as a whole integrated system.


WHO: Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volva, Hyundai/Kia, Honda

WHAT THEY DO: Almost all of the well-known automakers are involved in autonomous car development. Automakers, in cooperation with suppliers, are testing their self-driving vehicles that incorporate the parts and software from suppliers. Their ultimate goal is to launch level 4 to 5 products with a safe and reliable system and appealing human-machine interface. In addition to sourcing high-quality components from top-tier Suppliers, automakers partner with platform developers, and even other automakers to form an alliance (such as BMW-Intel-Mobileye). Yet, some automakers, such as Hyundai, are developing their own platform.

4. Expected Future State

In the future, people would expect to see level 4 and level 5 vehicles that could perform all artificial intelligent tasks under any circumstances without human intervention on the road.

While IoT is the key factor to promote the development of autonomous vehicles, there are some other advanced technologies imposing a great impact on them. Many automakers are trying to install AI software in an operating system that will serve as a virtual personal assistant to help drivers complete some basic tasks by voice commands (Jabil). In addition, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology enables cars to communicate with each other on the road by sharing data on speed, road conditions, and other factors through a network between vehicles. And it ensures drivers’ safety and ease of traffic congestions (Jabil). Furthermore, brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology could largely reduce accidents by using a wearable device on head to measure drivers’ brain wave activities, which would then be analyzed by vehicle systems to predict drivers’ driving behaviors (Jabil).

5. Business Rationale and Expected Economic Benefits

As IoT technology is revolutionizing the life cycle of the auto industry, major players can generate profit by accelerating design cycle, shortening lead time to market, reducing product costs, developing the agile manufacturing process, and providing high-quality service. Specifically, through sensors, the autonomous vehicles can exchange operating information from each other. This information is then used by automakers to improve their products. Powered by IoT, manufacturing schedules are well-adjusted according to the market demand which reduces capital investment and inventory levels; more efficient, faster and lower-cost manufacturing process became feasible. In addition, IoT technology enables the automakers, suppliers, and platform developers to identify automobile defects, predict maintenance needs, and communicate service updates that a driver is willing to pay.

In an era when software is the clever gambit, the auto operating system will deeply influence their investment in R&D and operations, the industry future development, and institutional investors’ validation. Moreover, the large amount of data is the key asset that can be used to improve car manufacturing, car driving models, and the city’s traffic planning, so benefit the automakers, system developers, ride-sharing service providers, insurance companies, and local governments.


Excerpt out of 8 pages


Internet of Things in Autonomous Car Industry. An Overview
Columbia Universität New York
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ISBN (eBook)
internet, things, autonomous, industry, overview
Quote paper
Juhyuk Park (Author), 2018, Internet of Things in Autonomous Car Industry. An Overview, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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