Connected vehicles and IoT: Advancements in smart transportation

Like other sectors, the automotive industry has significantly benefited from innovation in the last few years. This sector has emphasized smart technology because of its benefits in medicine and other fields. So, how does the auto industry use the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance transportation technology? Here are five advancements making it work.

1. Autonomous Vehicles

The most significant innovation in the field has been autonomous vehicles. While cars aren’t yet able to drive independently, considerable advancements have helped self-driving vehicles become more mainstream as automakers race to be the first to achieve full autonomy.

Auto industry experts judge self-driving cars based on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ levels of autonomy. Mercedes’ Drive Pilot takes the highest mark at Level 3 autonomy, but it’s only usable in California and Nevada with 40 mph speed limits.


What makes the Drive Pilot stand out? This feature from the German automaker utilizes numerous sensors, radars, cameras and antennas around the vehicle to assist the driver. The Drive Pilot can drive for you if the weather is clear and the road has marked lanes. This transportation technology is the first of its kind, and the auto industry should expect related technology as the decade progresses.

2. IoT Applications

The IoT has made the automobile experience much more manageable. Technological advancements allow it to manage traffic, parking and other elements of your commute to make the day more efficient.

For example, the IoT has helped drivers with traffic management. Smart traffic applications are handy, considering American cities like Chicago lose 155 hours annually to road congestion. These IoT systems collect vehicle data to determine where the jams are. With this information, traffic signals can adjust to help drivers around the city. For example, a wreck would cause the traffic lights to divert vehicles away from the accident.

Smart parking is another notable IoT application in the automotive world. Do you get frustrated looking for a space in a parking garage? This application lets you scan the facility for spots before you enter, saving you time and stress. Smart parking technology also allows companies to detect when people park illegally, making their lots and garages more efficient for everybody. Enhancing the user experience is a win for drivers, nearby business owners and parking garage owners.

Autonomous Vehicles Connected vehicles and IoT: Advancements in smart transportation technologies

3. Smart Trailers

Truck drivers are essential for putting goods on shelves and food on your dinner table. While these professionals drive over 500 miles daily, smart technology makes the job easier. Specifically, smart trailers make a big difference on long commutes carrying expensive cargo.

These unique trailers use IoT sensors to detail the status of your equipment and the packages inside. They can also monitor the temperature of refrigerated goods and relay information to the driver.

A fully loaded long-haul truck is cumbersome, so smart trailers are essential for safety. Imagine you driving a truck hauling a gooseneck trailer. This equipment can typically carry between 14,000 and 25,000 pounds, making it apt for transporting heavy machinery across long distances. Smart sensors on a gooseneck trailer warn truck drivers when their vehicle or cargo is in danger. Immediately knowing these problems prevents accidents and keeps drivers safe on the highway.

4. Public Transportation

Cars are a popular way to get around, but research shows people in America took 6.19 billion public transportation trips in 2022. Buses, metro lines, and other transit options are essential for whisking people away to work and around the city. The IoT has increased its efficiency by taking advantage of modern technology and increasing efficiency.

Modern public transportation systems have the luxury of using 5G connectivity. With this technology, you’re starting to see smarter cities worldwide. 5G and IoT sensors let public transportation passengers anticipate when their buses arrive and book seats in advance to ensure they have a spot. Payment also becomes easier by linking bank cards and bus accounts.

5G will be essential for the future as more cities link it with smart parking. For example, suppose you’re a bus driver in Los Angeles. With 5G and route planning, your trips become more efficient and customers become happier. Plus, you can use smart parking to find a spot for your bus with less hassle.

5. EV Chargers

EVs are becoming a more significant part of the auto transportation industry. A Cox Automotive report indicates they accounted for 7.9% of industry sales in quarter three of 2023. With EVs rising, there’s a more considerable demand for electricity to charge all these vehicles worldwide.

Thousands of cars needing a charge strain electrical grids and put municipalities in a challenging position. Thankfully, EV chargers have started employing transportation IoT technology to communicate with users.

Enabling chargers with IoT technology allows its operations managers to monitor them remotely and watch real-time data. This information shows when the grid is at capacity and the best time for users to charge their EVs.

For example, off-peak is typically in the wee hours of the morning. Using the charger during this time helps EV owners save money, whether at a public charging station or at home.

Using the IoT for a Better Future

While technological advances help every industry, the automotive transportation sector greatly benefits from the latest innovations. The IoT has demonstrated its uses by enhancing the driving experience and making your trips more efficient. It also improves safety by ensuring protection for truck drivers on long journeys. These five advancements show how far automotive technology has come, but there’s plenty of room for more.