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September 15, 2015

IBM drives IoT car data to the cloud

Big Blue aims to provide actionable insights from driver and vehicle data.

By James Nunns

IBM is making serious moves in the Internet of Things market with the creation of a cloud-based automotive solution.

The aim of the service is to help automakers make the most of driver and vehicle data.

The idea is to harness the data for actionable insights such as; predictive vehicle maintenance, real time diagnostics on engine trouble and helping to guide drivers to the most efficient traffic routes.

The Internet of Things for Automotive solution has been built on the IBM IoT Foundation and is available on Big Blue’s SoftLayer infrastructure. It is designed to help manufacturers gather data from individual sensors. That can lead to it being combined with other data for real-time analysis.

Insights are provided on driver, vehicle and environmental insights through analytics. This is achieved through tapping into both geo-location data collected in the car and vehicle data. Additional data is taken from parking providers, customer data and vehicle history.

Customers are already using some of IBM’s IoT for Automotive solution. Continental is using MessageSight and Infosphere Streams. These services help to manage data streams and apply analytics to its eHorizon solution.

This allows vehicle electronics to anticipate road conditions through digital mapping and crowd sourced data.

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Dirk Wollschlaeger, GM, Global Automotive Industry, IBM, said: "With the significant increase in connected cars, automotive manufacturers have the ability to take near-real time data and put it to good use for drivers in a variety of ways — from finding the nearest parking space and most efficient route, to maintenance alerts that help drivers expect the unexpected."

These moves follow announcements from the company regarding its commitment to IoT. The company formally created a dedicated IoT division, which will be led by Harriet Green, the former CEO of the Thomas Cook Group in the UK.

A lot of moves are being made with regards to connected cars, with automotive companies pushing the technology. By 2020 90% of new cars are expected to be equipped with extensive connectivity services, which have inflated some security concerns.

With this in mind, Intel established an automotive security review board to help mitigate the cybersecurity risks. The large number of moves from tech companies to work in this sector with IoT is highlighting the potential value that they see in it.

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