The transport industry is an important component of the economy and accounts for about 5% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The industry, however, is also associated with many setbacks including high maintenance costs, natural disasters, accidents, and loss of life.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the world die in road crashes each year while millions suffer non-fatal injuries.
The US tops the list of the countries with the highest road fatalities and according to a recent ASIRT’s study, more than 30,000 people die every year in crashes on US roadways. Hopefully, the issue of road safety can be addressed by the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI—two technologies that are taking the world by storm.
But can the IoT and machine learning really make transport safer? We’ll look into how the implementation of IoT in the transport sector can improve road safety and the overall management of vehicles.
1. Improving Driving Behavior
The human element remains the number one factor contributing to road fatalities. Reckless driving, driving under influence, and speeding are among the leading causes of road accidents. With the right implementation of IoT, the risks of accidents can be mitigated.
Telematics company, Samsara, is paving the way for road safety with their innovative dash cams. These next-gen dashboard cameras use artificial intelligence and accelerometer data to detect and alert drivers to incidences and risky behaviors in real-time.
The AI-powered dash cams will analyze the road and cab for high-risk behaviors and events that lead to crashes. When high-risk behaviors, such as the use of cell phones while driving is detected, audible in-cab alerts will warn the driver so that they can adjust behavior.
With voice-enabled in-cab alerts, in-depth coaching tools, and real-time video recordings, these mobile IoT innovations help to improve driving behavior, which is key to reducing road accidents that result from the human element.
2. Detecting Road Conditions
Incident detection and pattern recognition are vital aspects of artificial intelligence. AI-powered devices can study patterns to plan and optimize routes based on peak traffic hours, construction, and road conditions.
Keeping a tab of the traffic situation on the roads can significantly help to reduce accidents while optimizing resource usage.
IoT road sensors can provide real-time data from the roads to help avoid hazardous areas or high-traffic areas. HIKOB, a French IoT startup is working on such technology that involves embedding IoT sensors under the road to help measure traffic volume, changes in temperature, humidity, and other elements that affect traffic.
3. Optimizing Maintenance
Neglecting maintenance can make your vehicle unroadworthy and further increase the risk of avoidable road accidents.
The good news; maintenance problems can be addressed with the proper deployment of smart IoT devices. Such devices can run internal diagnostics on vehicles and identify maintenance issues faster than humans.
Smart IoT devices installed on vehicles could measure the performance of different parts of the vehicle. These devices will run a complete check on the vehicle, highlight the areas that need repair and alert the driver on things that need immediate attention.
4. Optimizing Navigation
The GPS navigation systems in cars combined with IoT devices can make a whole world of difference to the way the drivers navigate the roads.
For instance, a GPS system can be slow to detect traffic changes. But IoT navigation provides a faster response with real-time traffic data.
Moreover, hazards in a road can change abruptly and drivers will need dynamic navigation to avoid heading towards the high-risk areas. In such cases, IoT’s real-time navigation will not only give you real-time data on the road conditions but also improve your safety.
What’s your take on the impact of IoT on the transport sector? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.