Everyone is talking about autonomous vehicles but to make it work the automotive industry needs to create a connected car ecosystem for over-the-air (OTA) software and data updates. A 2015 IHS Market report says OTA will save car makers worldwide more than US$ 35 billion by 2022 but, parking the financial incentive for a moment, OTA also enables critical vehicle-centric data to be sent and received.
How does that affect you? Well, this could impact everything from mitigating safety recalls to cybersecurity updates, from insurance benefits and vehicle diagnostics to connection with the smart home.
To find out what drivers and car makers can expect in the next few years, here Jeremy Cowan talks to Scott Frank, vice president of Marketing at Airbiquity in the US.
IoT Now: How far down the road are we today towards full Level-5 vehicle autonomy? And when will we experience it?
Scott Frank: We won’t experience fully autonomous driving, defined as SAE level 4 and 5, until at least 2030. But we do expect to see a significant uptick in public testing and closely managed rollouts of autonomous vehicles in selective commercial applications starting as early as late 2018.
Following that, automakers will begin a slow but steady increase in global autonomous vehicle production, which is projected to reach one million units annually by 2026. To put this volume into perspective, one million autonomous vehicle units represents 1% of 2016 total global light vehicle production.
IoT Now: What will be the benefits of this degree of autonomy? Can you attach numbers to this yet?
SF: Autonomous vehicles promise to have significant safety, efficiency, and environmental benefits. Because they will be loaded with sensors, autonomous vehicles will be able to detect road conditions and react much faster and more reliably than human drivers. Predictions for traffic accident reductions are greater than 50%, and a lot of lives and property damage will be saved.
Autonomous vehicles will also be more efficient because of access to massive amounts of real-time information such as road conditions, congestion, traffic signals, and weather that can be used to optimise trip routes saving both time and fuel. Since autonomous vehicles will be driving more efficiently and consuming less fuel, their carbon footprint will be much less than non-autonomous vehicles with emissions reductions forecasted to be as high as 60%.
IoT Now: The growing complexity of cars is leading to an increase in vehicle recalls which would be cut by over-the-air software (OTA) updates. What are the costs of not developing OTA software?
SF: Not developing and deploying OTA technology would literally leave billions of dollars of cost savings on the table, and automakers are very good at taking advantage of any cost savings opportunities they can. Updating software in a non-OTA enabled vehicle is a time-consuming manual process performed by the automaker during production or authorised dealers and service providers post-production. The cost to perform manual software updates have been estimated at $ 50 per half-hour of labour.
When you factor in multiple software updates per year per vehicle, […]