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With Self Driving Cars, The Internet of Things Just Got More Crowded

Jamie Pederson in Blogs on January 26, 2016

About Jamie Pederson

I recently read an article that quoted a University of Michigan Transportation Research study that indicates the percentage of young people getting their driver’s license has been on the decline.  From 1983 to 2014 the percentage of 18 year olds with a driver’s license has declined from 80 percent to just 60 percent. 

I personally grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s in a more rural area of the Midwest and getting a license was a big deal for everyone I knew.  Partially because we were becoming adults, but it offered freedom.  Especially in a rural area where the towns are small and without the freedom of driving, you couldn’t get to the city and mass transit wasn’t an option. 

One can speculate that a portion of these numbers could be a result of more people living in urban areas, better mass transit and a push to become a green society that has caused more people to carpool, not to mention the services like Uber, Lyft and BlaBlaCar. 

I believe more young people are finding that, especially in urban areas, a car isn’t a necessity and they are evaluating the cost of car payments, insurance, fuel, and maintenance and are determining it’s not a priority for them.  But there’s a change on the horizon, and it’s getting close very fast.  Enter the Self Driving Car.  Google has a Self-Driving Car Project that drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in January of 2015.  To underscore this, several states have developed, or are developing regulations in preparation of the advancements to come.

And what an advancement it is.  When you consider that the first internal combustion automobile was invented in 1886, and here we are 130 years later having advanced far enough to have self-driving cars in our reach.  And for this to come to fruition, many technologies had to come into play.  First, there had to be a sufficient safety infrastructure in the automobile, we also needed significant advancements in wireless technology, motor control, sensing, and of course more microcontrollers and processors than you can imagine.  One example of these products is the Telit UE910-EU which is a ruggedized variant of the UE910-V2.  The Telit UE910-EU products offers an HSDPA module with dual-band in 2G and 3G, featuring both analog and digital audio and designed on the xE910 LGA unified form factor.  These enable the Internet of Things (IoT) in automobiles making the IoT freeway a little more crowded. 

Yet another interesting development of integrating the IoT into the automotive world is the emerging crowd sourcing of information.  Recently, Tesla has begun tracking driving data from each of its customers into the cloud.  This data can be used to improve GPS navigation data for all users by redirecting them around chronic traffic problems alleviating backups for everyone on the road. 

This is an exciting time to be alive.  When I was young I dreamed of flying cars, and while we aren’t flying around, I would have never dreamt of self-driving cars.  Which leads me to wonder, what’s beyond the horizon that I can’t imagine.  Symmetry Electronics has the products and technical support you need to move us closer to the next big advancement, contact us via email or at (877) 466-9722

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