Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and it seems to be filtering its way into every aspect of life. Did you know that thanks to M2M technology a vending machine can now report when it needs more Mars bars?
What is M2M?
It has best been described as an “Internet of Things”, meaning inanimate objects can communicate with one another via the internet. Allowing machines to talk to machines has its benefits: you can track locations, monitor temperature, navigate and even send for a technician if need be.
Can it work in the automotive world?
M2M applications have already made their way into the automotive world. Take GM’s OnStar system, it allows your vehicle to be unlocked and started remotely via your mobile phone. It has built in sat nav and should you have a crash, it will automatically call the emergency services and alert them to your location.
There are a lot of M2M applications waiting for the automotive world to take them up. Ashley Cole, Managing Director of Ring Communications, a leading UK M2M expert said: “There are many automotive applications for M2M technology especially in the future when we move to the next stage of production telematics. One option is to look at driver behaviour, which can then have insurance applications. For example, you can monitor acceleration, deceleration, cornering, and location so you can tell how someone drives.”
“There are already some applications, such as autonomous emergency braking, that have sensors in the front of the car which automatically stop you if there is a problem. Another application that is due to become a legal requirement in 2015 is e-Call. This is when the car calls the emergency services if you have a crash.”
“We have guided bus lanes so in the future there is no reason why we can’t have cars that drive themselves.”
There are numerous M2M applications which will become apparent in the automotive world very soon. Emission control, toll payment, traffic signals and vehicle-to-vehicle communication are all in the pipeline.
Ford has already produced a Focus that can park itself, adaptive cruise control is also available, so the car world is already changing. There are now dedicated communication companies just for M2M that is how rapidly it is growing. The future looks set to be even more interactive as the infrastructure changes and adapts to electric vehicles and hybrids. In a few years’ time it may be a case of cars driving themselves and we will all just be along for the ride.