Published on March 3, 2014
/ W I R E D ░ P R O M O T I O N CISCO #2 INTERNET OF EVERYTHING THE CONNECTED CAR ILLUSTRATION: QUICK HONEY /3 t the WIRED 2013 event at London’s To b a c c o D o c k , Brad Templeton of Singularity University – a collection of some of the finest futurological minds in the world – showed a film of a man driving to pick up a taco at a drive-through A restaurant, collecting his laundry and eventually driving home. The unusual thing? With 95 per cent sight-loss the driver, Steve Mahan, was legally blind. The car was one of Google’s driverless car fleet – a modified Toyota Prius – demonstrating that driverless vehicles are not just convenient: they have the power to change lives. Driverless cars are still far from an everyday sight, but they have already travelled from science fiction to science fact. DARPA, the American defence research agency, launched its first autonomous vehicle challenge i n 20 0 4 . N o ca r m a n a g e d t o complete the 240km course: the best performance, from Carnegie Mellon J o i n t h e co nve r s a t i o n : @ C i s co U K I # TO M O R ROWs t a r t s h e r e
TECHNOLOGY, DRIVEN We won’t all be swept to work in selfdriving cars tomorrow. According to the automobile industry analysts at IHS, fully autonomous cars will reach the market in 2025 and will take ten years to reach sales levels of 11.8 million – that’s nine per cent 1 6 8 .0 . 2 5 3 of the global auto trade. Carmakers, including Nissan a n d D a i m l e r, a r e m o r e optimistic, expecting to have self-driving cars on the road as early as 2020. However, the technologies that make self-driving cars possible are already impacting the way we drive, and there will be many more changes before the first completely hands-free car enters general circulation. The latest Mercedes S-Class has the option of a service called “Stop & Go Pilot”. Using 12 ultrasonic sensors, five cameras and six radar sensors, the car is able to “see” the vehicles around it and drive automatically in slow-moving traffic – keeping a safe distance from the driver in front and making minor steering adjustments to stay in lane. In traffic jams, the S-Class can creep forward of its own accord. Once the traffic speed goes above 9kph, it sounds an alarm if the driver’s hands are off the wheel, to bring attention back to the job of driving. BMW’s 5 Series has automated another tedious part of driving – parallel parking – with its Park Assist function. When the car passes a suitable space, the system will plot and implement a p a r k i n g ro u t e , w i t h t h e driver simply having to control acceleration and braking. ROUTES AND ROUTERS These automated abilities depend on cars becoming aware of their surroundings and able to interpret situations – if there are slow-moving vehicles all around, then it can recognise a traffic jam; if a driver crawls past a space between two cars, they may be looking for a place to park. This is situational awareness – a set of conditioned “reflexes”. The next stage is teaching cars to communicate with one another and other things – becoming parts of the Internet of Everything. The BMWi electric car is marketed as the first fully online electric vehicle. Its connectivity is designed to supplement its green credentials and usability. By cross-referencing battery power, traffic conditions gathered from the internet and information on the quality of the road surface, the BMW i3 gives its driver a more accurate picture of how far it can drive on its current charge, with recommendations for more energyefficient routes and driving styles. It is also able to scan the network of charging stations, establishing in real time which functional, unoccupied stations are in range and closest to the driver’s planned route. Other elements of the i3’s connectivity are more universal. A smartphone app can remotely activate or schedule its climate control settings, so that the cabin is always at the right temperature at the right time for the morning commute. ON THE ROAD #1 Smart services and insurance Computers in modern cars already track engine and driving data: when the car comes in for a repair or service, this information is downloaded using the diagnostic port, to help technicians to identify faults. But a connected vehicle can relay this information directly, in real time. Instead of waiting for a fault to develop, and then fixing it, your car can monitor for unusual activity and send its performance data to the service centre to see if it needs to be remotely tuned or taken in for repair. Along with manufacturing and servicing, another huge industry stands to be disrupted by the connected car. Insurers are already experimenting with using data to tweak policies. Allstate, an American insurer, monitors drivers for a month with its Drivewise device, which plugs into a car’s diagnostic port, to adjust premiums. Drivers who brake gently, avoid latenight drives and drive moderate distances at moderate speeds are low risk, but currently often pay for higher-risk drivers. Regular monitoring helps drivers to view their driving behaviour and change it to improve their insurability. Constant connectivity could mean premiums change day by day – and provide a “black box” recorder for disputed claims. PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM DYMOND University’s Red Team, made it less than 12km. The following year, two cars from the same team finished the course in around seven hours. They were beaten by a Stanford University te a m , h e a d e d by t h e G e r m a n programmer Sebastian Thrun, and its car, “Stanley”. Google invited Thrun to lead its own driverless car project, and the rest is history – or robotics. Google’s driverless cars have now logged almost one million kilometres of independent travel.
/ W I R E D ░ P R O M O T I O N ON THE ROAD #2 Serving the public The connection of phone and car also enables security and convenience features, such as remote locking and monitoring, and the ability to transfer map data between the car’s systems and a phone – so, when the car is parked, directions to complete the journey on foot are transferred. NETWORK EFFECTS The benefits of connectivity extend beyond convenience. By transmitting diagnostic information, potentially dangerous faults can be identified re m o te ly and repaired before they are even noticeable to the driver. With easy updates on a car’s location and speed, insurers can check whether a driver is a good risk, parents can make sure their children are actually borrowing the car to drive carefully to the shops, and theft can be immediately detected. In some ways, the car of the future – battery-powered and constantly connected – will be more like a computer with wheels, compared with the controlled explosions of the internal combustion engine. Of course, the more important connectivity becomes, the more vital it is that it can be maintained. Losing access to map and navigation data is frustrating in a strange city – and far more so on the motorway. C i s co a n d Co n t i n e n t a l , t h e leading producer of automobile components, have collaborated to create a concept car. Highly connected, this car’s in-built router is able to switch seamlessly between 3G and 4G mobile networks using a SIM card, available Wi-Fi networks and satellite internet in remote areas. At the same time, it connects different components in the car itself and sends and receives information from other vehicles and dedicated traffic communication hardware set up by the road, using the short-range The vision of the “connected car” is often a futuristic, sleek sports car being driven by its owner. But connecting other forms of transport to the Internet of Everything will have a dramatic effect. In the US, Cisco has connected San Francisco’s bus fleet to the internet, using an 819 router in each bus. The Internet of Buses may sound unglamorous, but it has the potential to transform the service. Every bus can report to the control room constantly, to create a citywide picture of public transport. And, instead of dealing with proprietary systems, new technologies can plug straight into the existing network. And, for the passengers, the wireless network is robust enough to provide internet access during their journey – meaning taking the bus would potentially be a more productive option than driving. Safety and security are vital to public transport, and so CCTV cameras have been retrofitted to the majority of buses at great expense. With a bus-wide wireless network, IP cameras – effectively wireless webcams – can be added to the inside and outside of transport vehicles. These small, mobile cameras need little power, are easy to install and can stream images directly to the driver, a central control room – or, if necessary, the emergency services. J o i n t h e co nve r s a t i o n : @ C i s co U K I # TO M O R ROWs t a r t s h e r e
operations. Connected to the internet and to each other, the centres can set up a network of IP cameras, monitor situations, issue citations and process fines on the spot – while also creating mobile wireless hot-spots for other government agents. CONNECTING TO THE FUTURE Vehicles have space for larger antennas a n d s t ro n g e r p owe r s o u rce s t h a n mobile phones, providing more reliable connectivity. The challenge is to create robust, rugged and low-power sensors and networks to populate the world of connected transport. London’s Westminster Council is experimenting with a smart parking solution, involving networked infrared sensors in every car park bay. Currently, Westminster estimates that drivers spend ON THE ROAD #3 Fighting crime When a phone is stolen, connectivity is the victim’s first line of defence. Sensitive information can be deleted, the customer’s account can be deactivated and the phone itself can become a tracking device or beacon. Cars have shipped with anti-theft devices from the doorlock onwards, but a connected car can fight thieves even after it is stolen. In October 2009, a car thief found the Chevrolet Tahoe he was driving slowing down, remotely controlled by GM’s OnStar remote control anti-theft service. As cars become ever smarter, the possibilities for crime prevention grow. A connected car could activate its webcam to identify the criminal, wait until it was in a safe place, and then decelerate, pull over and lock its doors and windows while waiting for the police to arrive. Connectivity fights physical crime, but it creates new vulnerabilities. At 2013’s DefCon conference, hackers showed how they could control the steering wheel, honk the horn and manipulate the speed and engine of a smart car with a laptop wired to its dashboard. As wireless connections to car systems become more common, car makers will increasingly need to partner with networking experts – such as Cisco – to ensure the security of their systems – from hackers to plain old computer viruses. ON THE ROAD #4 The smart fleet The Internet of Everything means that everything touches everything, through the whole life of a car. When every car on the road and every component in the factory are connected, it becomes possible to deliver just-in-time and build-to-order, cutting down unsold units and storage costs. When every item in the world is connected, those benefits spread to every application. Take a simple task like restocking vending machines: in the unconnected world, a van travels from machine to machine along a set route, refilling each one in turn. Some machines might not need restocking. Others will be emptied before they can be restocked. Imagine the same task, but now every vending machine knows how many of each product it has left, and can report to a central network. The van would have a different route every time it left the garage, based on which machines need to be refilled. Traffic information is also factored in, reorganising the route for maximum efficiency. Connectivity breeds flexibility: if only one product range runs out, why not send a car or a bike instead of a truck? The same insight and flexibility can be added to every shop and storeroom across the city. Even in a digital world, vehicles still have to move products from place to place – but a connected delivery fleet makes that process more versatile and more efficient than ever. PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM DYMOND 802.11p protocol. The picture is completed with Bluetooth, to connect peripherals and smart devices. The connected car can create a wireless hot-spot, giving internet access to passengers. This can be more than just a diversion on long journeys, though, or a way to dial in to the office network for catching up on your admin while in a service 1 6 8 .0 . 2 5 3 station car park. Emergency service vehicles can access information such as medical records while on their way to an incident, and conduct remote consultations while transporting injured patients to hospital. In preparation for the 2014 World Cup, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice has deployed 27 mobile command and control centres – trucks containing a mobile base of
/ W I R E D ░ P R O M O T I O N 15 minutes searching for a parking space – not just wasting time, but consuming energy and potentially polluting the atmosphere. The sensors report whether each parking space is occupied or vacant. Using a smartphone app, drivers can look at a map and find an unoccupied parking space immediately – a miracle in central London. Parking is a focus for the connected car – it is time-consuming, tedious and frustrating – a perfect task to be automated. Audi has developed a concept car that takes over the entire process of parking: activated CONNECTING THE UNCONNECTED Cisco The Internet of Everything is a force for positive change – and one company is making it possible. Cisco is enabling the IoE by ensuring that people, processes, things and data are connected quickly, safely and constantly on the busiest network in history. Cisco network architecture and wireless access points, and its cloud solutions, help connect and direct tomorrow’s technology. Its web security services protect smart networks from malware, exploits and compromised devices. For more about the Internet of Everything: internetofeverything.cisco.com/en-gb To see how Cisco is making the IoE possible: cisco.co.uk/tomorrow For more about the Connected Car: bit.ly/1guKHru J o i n t h e co nve r s a t i o n : @ C i s co U K I # TO M O R ROWs t a r t s h e re at the entrance to a car park, the car searches for a space and parks itself, leaving the driver free to get an early start on their “to do” list. As an increasing amount of time is spent with automatic systems managing part or all of the driving duties, manufacturers and buyers are thinking of how to build entertainment interfaces into their networks. BMW has launched a range of cars with the rara streaming music service built in, allowing access to millions of songs through a heads-up display. Eye-tracking solutions, such as Tobii, allow the windscreen to be turned into an interface, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while accessing information or selecting music. Apple and Google are already forming alliances to deliver tabletlike app experiences to cars and extend their ecosystems into vehicles. The future seems to be one where driving is increasingly optional, rather than compulsory, in more and more situations. Despite suspicions about driverless cars, statistics suggest that most accidents are caused by inattention, alcohol or exhaustion – conditions automated cars do not experience. Volvo’s “Drive Me” project, which is placing 8 3.24 5.192.15 autonomous cars on the streets of Sweden, aims to convince the public of the safety of self-driving cars. So, even the driver may become a passenger for many journeys in the future, using their in-car internet connection for entertainment, productivity or a well-earned rest. Connectivity and “smartness” have been entering the automotive world through many different windows – apps on smartphones, navigation sy s te m s , a u to m a t i c p a r k i n g and even driving-on-demand services like Uber or Zipcar, where technology and connectivity are used to give temporary access to a car, with or without a driver. The integration of these abilities – and more – into the connected car, and the connected car into the Internet of Everything, has the potential to transform transportation, just as the internet has disrupted and reshaped so many other industries. Fasten your seatbelt, it’s coming.
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