Forget the recent announcements about driverless cars, Big Data is hard at work in every aspect of the automotive industry. We are currently doing a lot of work with a number of automotive manufacturers, and I thought that it might be interesting to see where Big Data is having an impact on the cars that we are driving:
Safety. Many cars already incorporate parking sensors and crash prevention systems, but as V2V (vehicle to vehicle) communication becomes more prevalent, incidents such as motorcycles in blind spots will reduce in frequency. Big Data will be able to take information from the surrounding environment and road conditions, keeping the diver informed – who doesn’t slow down a little when they see one of those signs advertising the number of fatalities on a certain stretch of road?
Design Analysis. From a huge amount of data gathered from every vehicle, the design and manufacturing processes will be driven by the findings. The Formula One industry already crunches data in this way, and we are seeing this technology cross into everyday manufacturing. Every individual component will be able to be analyzed and the driving experience will be more pleasurable than ever.
Marketing. Big Data is going to take over the world of understanding customer sentiment and how it influences purchase decisions, and with a big ticket item such as a car, there is a lot of money being invested in this area. What compels someone to walk down to the showroom and buy a new car is the holy grail of the global manufacturers. With ever more customer data at their fingertips, the marketing messages of the big companies will become ever more sophisticated.
Service. Millions of services will inform designers of required future modifications - data will be shared directly with manufacturers rather than hidden away in a service book. Also, advanced telemetrics will collect data about your cars’ performance and suggest that you take it for a service long before it runs the risk of serious damage. We all drive our cars differently – having a standard service every 12,000 miles it not necessarily right for all of us.
Traffic. How about being able to avoid traffic jams before they happen? If the traffic starts to build up at a certain part of the motorway on a certain day, you will be presented with the probability of a jam and your car will analyze the alternative routes (including the number of people who took that route last time the traffic was this bad). This innovation really should keep traffic flowing and it will inform governments as to where infrastructure investment is required.
Aftermarket. The data that the cars will provide will be crucial to a whole host of other companies. From insurance to travel services, maintenance to entertainment, products will be tailored for specific drivers according to how they drive their cars. We are already seeing this in the insurance area with 'black box' care insurance. Just because you don’t have any penalty points doesn’t mean that you are a 'safe' driver.
In the coming 'Internet of Things', your car will be at the forefront of the revolution. To be honest, I can’t see too many negatives to these developments. What do you think?