For the average citizen, smart transportation might be synonymous with self-driving cars. With companies like Uber, Google, Tesla and more competing for autonomous vehicles, it seems like we’re on a collision course with that level of smart transportation.

But there’s more to smart transportation than just self-driving cars. In the smart city model, the value of connected vehicles is the feedback loop created by all the data collected from vehicles.

A CONNECTED CAR EXPERIMENT

To prove the value of connected cars in a smart city model, Vinli ran an experiment during CES 2016. We connected 400 vehicles to our connected car platform to collect data over the course of three days.

The Vinli Platform, which collects 16 data points per second, translated the information about how people drive - acceleration, deceleration, emissions, and more. But when you go a level deeper, you can also gain insight into driving conditions in a given area.

In just 72 hours, the data from these 400 connected cars was able to map out every pothole in Las Vegas. Although this was a limited experiment, just imagine the insights you could derive by connecting the 2 million vehicles on the road in New York City.

Interested in learning more about how smart city innovations are taking off? Download our latest guide, The Business Opportunity of Smart Cities.

3 TIERS OF VALUE FOR CONNECTED CARS IN SMART CITIES

Smart cities will only come to fruition if they offer value to all parties involved—consumers/citizens, business partners, and the cities themselves. This means that each individual component of the smart city must address this well-rounded value first.

Here’s how connected cars drive value on all 3 levels:

  • Consumer/Citizen: Drivers currently have a communication barrier between them and their vehicle, causing them to be unaware of the inner workings of their vehicle. If there’s an unfamiliar noise, they take the car to a mechanic to hopefully solve the issue. With connected cars, maintenance can be put on auto-pilot as data collection provides insight into both regular and irregular maintenance.
  • Business Partners in the Supply Chain: Manufacturers want to operate as efficiently as possible. Connected cars can generate more data, giving manufacturers more insight into what’s working and what isn’t, while strengthening relationships with their customers in the process. Insurance agencies will also be able to evolve by offering more personalized policies based on driving habits and real-time condition of covered cars.
  • City Infrastructure and Operations: Cities can leverage connected car data to address environmental concerns, prioritize road maintenance, and even change traffic flows to make transportation safer and more efficient. Not only that, cities can also start offering more tax breaks for energy efficiency. Many are already experimenting with tax breaks based on the emissions statistics of your car, but real-time data can enable more targeted policies.

Most of these benefits are possible today. But when you look a few years down the road and autonomous cars come to market, data will be critical for maximizing mobile efficiency and proving the value of a smarter infrastructure.

SMART CITIES ARE COMING — BUT NOT WITHOUT A FEW CHALLENGES

Whether you’re talking about smart transportation, commerce, housing, or any other aspect of smart cities, there is one main barrier to success - buy-in from the cities themselves.

The private market is already anxious to capitalize on the smart city opportunity. There are plenty of startups currently innovating for smart cities, but when you look at what a major player like IBM has been doing for a decade, you can see that interest and investment in this market is more than a theory.

However, the private market can’t do it all by themselves. As cities start to realize the value of becoming “smart,” individual sectors like transportation will flourish.

Rather than trying to tackle smart city innovation as a whole, there are 5 main pillars where companies can add value.

ABOUT VINLI

Vinli is the most advanced connected car platform in the world.

The Vinli Platform enables any business to create a customized connected car experience, while keeping drivers safe and connected through Vinli’s services and applications from the Vinli App Catalog. In addition, Vinli has made it easier for developers to build apps with the first open platform for cars.

Whatever your business, whatever your vision, Vinli can make it real. We’re on a mission to put connectivity in every car on the road.

Smart City innovations are about to take off and change our lives in a big way. Download our latest ebook to see who else disrupting our cities, The Business Opportunity of Smart Cities.

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