ST: Cars find place in grand scheme of IoT
The Internet of Everything envisions an optimised confluence of people, things, data and processes, all intelligently connected to and part of the Internet. The goal is to achieve human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions that enhance all our activities and enrich our lives.
Since the Internet came into being, users have had a strong desire to keep their connections "always on" and to connect a whole gamut of appliances for a broad range of uses. Hence early on, there were attempts to connect the TV, the refrigerator, and, in a clear sign of the apocalypse, even the toaster.
Born of this desire, came the idea for the smart connected home. Since time at home is a significant portion of our lives, making the home smart and connected made sense. But the home is more than just a place to sleep and serves different functions to different people. Hence, not every function of the home could find itself a good reason to get connected.
The car on the other hand just might prove to be an even more compelling platform to realise the complete concept of the Internet of Everything. Indeed, within the car, people, things, data and processes can interact seamlessly within their own ecosystem, as well as with other cars and even the external cloud, via the Internet.
The car as a technology hub
Today's car is already packed with electronics and, in fact, has among the highest densities of electronic components of all consumer machines. As a supplier of many of the silicon technologies inside the car, STMicroelectronics already sees it as a technology hub. A plethora of technologies powers the car today and these technologies fall into three domains: safety & security, infotainment & telematics, and powertrain/fuel economy.
The car as a technology hub has already begun to fulfil the Internet of Everything concept with people, things and processes interacting seamlessly.
Apart from the more traditional solutions such as airbags, stability control, and anti-lock braking systems, safety and security issues are increasingly addressed by newer technologies such as autonomous breaking, active safety (camera and sensor based) and night vision. Infotainment and telematics are addressed by technologies that enable smart traffic management, positioning & location-based services, car-to-car & car-to-infrastructure communication and in the future, perhaps autonomous driving. The powertrain/fuel economy domain is addressed by technologies in engine control, shift-by-wire, stop/start, engine downsizing, vehicle electrification and street predictability.