April 17, 2018 | Written by: Gerardo Gonzalez and Ron Felice, IBM
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Connected vehicles are finally coming into their own and establishing themselves in the marketplace. Today, about 35 percent of new vehicles are connected to the internet. They’re packed with sensor technologies that monitor driving, safety and vehicle health conditions. By 2020, enhancements for internet-enabled vehicles are expected to be among the top downloads from app stores. It’s an exciting, emerging space to provide new value, transform the consumer’s experience and open new revenue streams.
But what about the hundreds of millions of vehicles that will remain on roads for a long while yet that are not connected? The last serious estimate of the number of cars on the roads globally was 1.2 billion. It’s also estimated that there will be a quarter-billion connected cars on the roads by 2020. That still leaves about a billion cars that are not connected.
Making connections happen
Figuring out how to bring connected vehicle services to this vast population of disconnected vehicles presents an exciting opportunity. AirWire Technologies is working with IBM to implement its connected car and IoT services platform powered by IBM Connected Vehicle Insights. AirWire’s connected car cloud services work in conjunction with its proprietary Connected Car OBD (on-board diagnostics) solution.
The AirWire connected car device attaches to the vehicle’s OBD II port, available on any car newer than 1999. The device provides uninterrupted connectivity through an advanced 4G LTE network. It seamlessly uploads important vehicle data to the cloud for analysis. This then enables apps and services through consumer’s smartphones and other mobile devices. The device also acts as a hotspot, enabling wireless Internet inside the vehicle without having to stream data over Bluetooth through the user’s smartphone.
AirWire’s device and its AirConnect app, use IBM Watson Assistant to deliver a voice-activated in-vehicle personal assistant. Vehicle owners can analyze their car’s performance, driving efficiency, driving safety and overall health information using AirWire’s connected car cloud services. It is AI-enabled as it recognizes previous travel patterns and asks relevant questions to help drivers with a variety of needs, from routing to commerce, to understanding the surrounding environment. The AirWire cloud services model enables network operators to enter the vehicle IoT space seamlessly, quickly, and with minimal effort.
The AirConnect app acts as a personal assistant to drivers, and allows them to use voice commands to communicate with their vehicles.
Connected Vehicles Insights
IBM Connected Vehicle Insights provides a purpose-built, connected vehicle solution that is designed to handle high-volume, high-velocity data consumption and analytics that the automotive industry demands. It’s well suited to pair with AirWire’s offering to give drivers comprehensive information about their vehicles. Connected Vehicle Insights also bundles services such as driver behavior analytics to score and provide feedback on driving performance.
“Our partnership with AirWire enables the data collected through their in-vehicle connected car device into a cloud platform harnessing the power of cognitive computing to connected vehicles, sensors and systems that comprise the automotive IoT space, helping transform how vehicles are owned, operated and maintained,” said IBM executive, Dibbe Edwards, vice president for Watson IoT Connected Products.
“AirWire is excited to partner with IBM, an established leader in the IoT space, enabling our connected car and IoT services platform through the Connected Vehicle Insights solution to connect vehicles over any network in any part of the world. All of our operator partners, automobile OEMs, and vehicle owners, will benefit from the power of IBM Connected Vehicle Insights to help them connect vehicles in the IoT space,” said AirWire CEO, Debashis Bagchi.
Connected Vehicle Insights works with Watson Assistant. IBM Watson Assistant for Automotive is a digital assistant designed to enhance in-vehicle experiences, helping the automotive industry better understand and interact with drivers and passengers. Watson Assistant can be customized to your brand, uses artificial intelligence to learn and engage proactively with your customers, while keeping data private.
Global pilots starting soon
AirWire is initiating pilots globally of the AirWire connected car and IoT services platform powered by IBM Connected Vehicle Insights. The initial targeted pilots will be in India, Philippines and the US. Then, a worldwide launch follows soon thereafter. The AirWire Connected Car app, “AirConnect,” acts as a personal assistant to the drivers. With it, they can communicate with their vehicles using voice commands.
Look for availability of the app soon in both iOS and Android versions. For more information about AirWire please visit their site. Learn more about IBM Connected Vehicle Insights, and IBM Watson Assistant for Automotive.