Connected mobility is ever-evolving as vehicles, cities, and technological advances rapidly develop.
Connected mobility is ever-evolving as vehicles, cities, and technological advances rapidly develop.
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Connectivity Top 3 Connected Mobility trends

Author / Editor: Jason Unrau / Erika Granath

Connected mobility is ever-evolving as vehicles, cities, and technological advances rapidly develop. It can be challenging to stay apprised of the top trends in the industry, whether it's in-vehicle or external.

In its continuous evolution,connected mobility develops the relationship between a driver and their vehicle through safety systems, the driving experience, and infotainment features. It requires advanced tech both in the vehicle and around it to function as designed.

Like any technology, connected mobility's advancement has trends. Here, we'll take a closer look at the three areas where connected mobility is growing fastest.

Over-the-Air Software Updates

Most automakers have integrated a wireless 4G LTE connection with individual vehicles. While it's commonly used for infotainment purposes, it offers a much more important function for vehicle owners and operators.

Over-the-air (OTA) updates are transmitted to a vehicle equipped with OTA capabilities. These updates are sometimes for the driver's convenience, such as enabling new features as Tesla is apt to do. In other cases, OTA updates may correct critical flaws that are found in operating systems—flaws that could be unsafe.

For most drivers, OTA updates are a trend that improves the ownership experience and reduce visits to the service department. It's convenient, and allows for new features to be enabled, often at no cost and remotely. However, the downside is that the 4G LTE connection needs to be maintained. And if an update fails, it can potentially render the vehicle useless until it's repaired at the dealership.

While there's always a small risk of issues with OTA updates, the benefits far outweigh them.

Predictive Maintenance

Most carmakers have shifted from maintenance intervals based on time and mileage to predictive maintenance. In connected mobility, predictive maintenance pools operating data with real-time environmental information as well as vehicle condition to determine when servicing is required. As an example, sensors monitoring engine performance and the oil level can help predict when the next oil change service is due. What's more, maintenance items can be conveyed with connected vehicles through the IoT.

  • V2P stands for vehicle-to-pedestrian, a concept that connects vehicles to non-motorized road users.
  • V2V stands for vehicle-to-vehicle, where a vehicle communicates to other connected vehicles nearby through IoT.
  • V2N stands for vehicle-to-network, where a vehicle communicates wirelessly over the cellular network for a broad range of services.
  • V2I stands for vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. This includes road signals and traffic lights, for example.

Predictive maintenance is particularly beneficial in commercial sectors and fleets where maintenance costs are minor compared with unnecessary downtime. On average, it costs a company $448 to $760 per day in downtime plus the costs of repairs due to unexpected vehicle problems.

V2X Connectivity

Perhaps the most influential and important trend in connected mobility is vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity. Where X stands for 'everything,' four subsections have similar abbreviations to understand.

Optimized Traffic Flows

As urban centers continue to grow, traffic issues grow with them. Ill-timed traffic signals are often a core issue. V2X communication allows infrastructure to understand the flow of traffic through an intersection and adjust the timing at subsequent intersections to optimize the vehicle flow for reduced commuting times.

Reduced Congestion

An accident can add valuable time to a commute. V2X technologies can identify where there is an accident or heavy traffic and prescribe an alternate route to drivers. Not only can it shorten drive times and reduce traffic congestion, but it reduces the driver's stress.

Diminished Accidents

With intelligent traffic flow and an ability to identify pedestrians and vehicles before a collision, V2X reduces the number and severity of accidents. Fewer fatalities and injuries, minimized vehicle downtime, and reduced repair costs for insurers are a few benefits related with lower accident rates.

Minimized Emissions

Naturally, a shortened commute time and smoother traffic flow reduce the fuel a vehicle burns. The result is fewer emissions entering the atmosphere. That's especially important in urban centers like Beijing, New York City, and Mexico City, where air pollution is a serious concern.