Two major companies are teaming up to develop a project that could help as many as 8.5 million drivers on the road. The joint venture between BMW and IBM will deliver a cloud-based data management system as part of a new connected car initiative, all based on real-time performance. Through the use of CarData, cars can tailor-make programs for their drivers, in addition to connecting drivers with services like repair shops and auto insurers. Here’s a look at how this technology is benefitting users in countries like Germany, and what cities can expect as far as long-term benefits of connected cars. — Philippe Leonard
Connected Car Effect
We often hear of the Internet of Things making cities more connected, but now cars can also benefit from this type of technology. The BMW CarData network will access the IoT to help drivers diagnose and repair problems, save on car insurance by finding better rates, and access third-party services, all thanks to the data collected from the BMW ConnectedDrive app. Not only would this service be available through BMW, IBM can collect data from other car manufacturers through the app. Last October, IBM debuted a similar project with GM, developing a “cognitive mobility platform” called OnStar Go, using data collected from drivers to connect them with surrounding businesses.
“BMW CarData will take the connectivity of our vehicles to a new dimension. Our BMW ConnectedDrive customers will be able to take advantage of new, innovative, and customized third-party services in a quick and easy manner,” explained BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer at the Mobility of Tomorrow automotive event in Berlin in May.
In addition to assisting drivers with the performance of their car, the surrounding environment and how the car is being driven, this type of collected data may also be able to adapt to a driver’s personal preferences, from seat height and position to a driver’s favourite destinations.
So how will this technology impact the cities it is being used in? According to a recent Bosch study, calculations for the year 2025 in the US, China and Germany estimate that connected cars will help avoid nearly 260,000 accidents; save 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions; and prevent 350,000 fewer traffic accident injuries, thanks to advanced warnings of slower traffic ahead and sensor-based automatic emergency braking.