The cloud isn’t just for backing up your phone’s photos or storing work documents, it might soon be used to make driving safer. Modern cars aren’t made like they used to be, they’re connected and they’re filled with technology. The average new vehicle has a state of the art infotainment system with navigation, satellite radio capabilities, a variety of collision sensors and at least one exterior camera. All this tech doesn’t just mean good things for you as the driver, it also means incredible things for automotive safety. Not in the form of new airbags or safer cars, but in the form of data. Modern automobiles have become data powerhouses to the most extreme extent of the word. They collect and log user input, navigation data, climate data, road data, everything. This may all sound like useless information to you, but big data is the not so sexy driver to modern technological advancement. As cars become more connected and they continue to amass data all being fed into the cloud, through the coupling of machine learning algorithms used to sort and interpret the data, companies may soon be able to draw some impactful conclusions from your Sunday stroll, in real-time.
Based on your braking, they might be able to predict a traffic jam. Based on your driving, they might be able to tell if you’re at a higher risk of brake failure. Based on your navigation, cities might be able to better tell where road improvements are needed. Going even deeper, real-time monitoring might allow your car to prevent you from getting into an accident or give you the fastest route to your destination in real-time. Connectivity is good for the modern driver, but it also feeds into the future. The development of the cloud and these machine learning algorithms interpreting data only underscores the capabilities of future autonomous vehicles. While there are certainly still issues that need to be settled on the topic, more data means safer better autonomous technology. In our current day and age, the more data we can collect, the better our technology can become. The cloud can be used to amass that data and in turn, drive technology growth. The automotive industry is seeing a shift from a hardware dominated culture to one dominated by software and technological innovation. What used to be making the best transmission is now who can make the best collision avoidance system. Automotive manufacturing has always been on the cutting edge of new materials and industrial design, but now, their advancements are becoming digital too. Car companies are becoming data companies, and the automotive sector is becoming one of the biggest drivers of technological innovation of any industry worldwide. So, what you may simply use as a convenient data backup now, might one day save your life on the road –bringing the cloud, just a little bit closer to earth.
Trevor is an experienced marketing and content creation professional who has spent his entire career helping engineering technology companies reach their customers through digital media. He currently works for Autodesk on the Digital Acquisition Team where he’s responsible for social demand generation for the AutoCAD and Design and Manufacturing families. You can also see his written engineering marketing content on InterestingEngineering.com, Curiosity.com, and other sites across the web.