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IoT Connected Transport: a smoother road to the future

Innovation in motion. Connected transport holds the promise for a safer and more sustainable future. Real-time communication with the surrounding IoT connected ecosystem and real-time data to determine how to improve operational efficiency and performance is making Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving a reality, thus changing the way we think of mobility and transportation.

Now the ongoing wave of IoT innovation that encompasses real-time tracking of shipments, rideshare and crash prevention technologies, route optimization or smart logistics -to cite just a few advances- is opening up a range of exciting new possibilities that enrich the consumer experience, increase security and present new business models. The power and engagement of these proposals will be displayed at the IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC), to be held in Barcelona 29-31 October.

The true disruption

This edition includes a connected transport track to discuss where the true disruption really is, so that the stakeholders can navigate this paradigm shift sustained by IoT and communication technologies such as WIFI, Bluetooth, Zigbee, LoRa, Thread, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA or LTE.

Oddly enough, the media focus on car-centric developments and the race to fully automated vehicles. But other transport areas, such as the shipping industry, the rail industry and aerospace, are also moving up a gear to make transportation more secure, improve traffic flow and cut costs for greater scale.

Accordingly, Glenn Schnieders, IoT Manager at Brussels Airport, considers IoT “a key driver in helping airports make better informed, data-driven strategic and operational decisions.” For cause, as “European aerospace and airports will get saturated over the next decade”, he says.

Therefore, the big question is: How will we travel the world in 2040-2050? What’s more, considering that if the aviation industry was a country, it would rank among the world’s top ten emitters of carbon dioxide (CO₂), how will we make sure it’s sustainable? The portents are not good: Aviation emissions have risen by 70% since 2005 and they’re forecast to increase by between 300% and 700% by 2050.

So, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. In the IoT ecosystem, connected vehicle platforms, advanced traffic analysis and private and indoor mapping are making their way in the industry. We’re quickly learning how remote fleet management can increase the bottom line, how improvements in public transit and autonomous vehicles can prevent accidents and reduce insurance costs or how data can assist in increasing on-time deliveries. All in all, we now know that tailor-made IoT solutions can help accelerate productivity while monetizing services.

Security concerns

However, these solutions also bring serious business and technical challenges. “The complexity of connected vehicles is increasing steeply, and not just in relation to technology, but also vis-à-vis their needs and social impact”, underlines Mario Reyes, Head of Research IT Security in Catalan Technology Center Eurecat. There are a number of sensors feeding information to other systems, such as the Collision Avoidance System (CAS) or parking assistance, and sensors to interpret the environment (LIDAR, Radar, GNSS, Cameras, Optical Sensors…) when talking about autonomous cars, insists Reyes.

Unfortunately, all these advances raise concerns about security, privacy, and also sustainability. “There are a bunch of examples of cyber carjacking, and although car manufacturers are addressing the problem, considerable work remains to be done”, says the Head of Research IT Security in Catalan Technology Center Eurecat. This is serious. A security breach in a financial system causes loss of money or reputation, but a security breach in a connected or autonomous vehicle can cause injuries or even death.

As for sustainability, it is expected that each autonomous car will soon churn out 4,000 Gigabytes of data for each hour of driving, equal to the daily data usage of about 3,000 people. How to manage this amount of information?

Can telecom operators fulfill their role in providing communications networks that can support a continuous, seamless flow of data? IoTSWC19 will answer these questions and many others with different panels of experts who will bring new perspectives on the real impact of IoT connected transport and how to drive a smoother road to the future. We all deserve it.

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Pedro Mier

Pedro Mier holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineer ing from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, MBA from ESADE and PADE from IESE. He is currently President of AMETIC (Association of Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications Companies of Spain), Shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRYO Aerospace & Electronics, Board Member of the Premo Group and Committee of CTTC. member of Space Angels Network and Member of the Sc ientific Advisory