The Internet of Things — that vast and ever growing network of connected stuff — is disrupting a growing number of industries, transportation included. And it goes far beyond ride hailing/sharing services from the likes of Uber, Lyft and Via.
IoT technology is used on railway systems to monitor train speed, automatically shift routes and avoid accidents. Toll systems employ it to adjust pricing and facilitate real-time payment. It’s also a boon to fleet management — the scheduling, routing, monitoring and performance of a company’s vehicles.
IoT in Transportation
Parking is made easier as well via sensors that determine if a spot’s available, and roads are made safer through smart lighting, traffic flow analysis and the automatic controlling of traffic signals. And cars themselves are becoming increasingly intelligent, with IoT-enabled safety features and interactivity designed to improve the overall driving experience.
Alexandria Jacobson contributed reporting.
IoT in Transportation: An Overview
Simply, IoT is making the transportation industry more efficient. For example, this technology allows logistics companies to manage their fleets and track vehicles’ locations and look out for potential disruptions. Public transit becomes more efficient with real-time tracking.
Here are 17 ways the Internet of Things is revolutionizing transportation.
Location: Kirkland, Washington
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Inrix analyzes data from road sensors and vehicles to provide real-time parking and traffic information as well as insights that are used to more safely test and deploy self-driving cars. Additionally, the company’s Population Analytics service uses GPS and mobile network data to answer questions about travel habits and population density.
Location: London, England
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Concirrus’s Quest Motor helps insurers see and manage risk via a data-analyzing app that gives them real-time insights into driver behavior, including factors like speed, braking, tailgating and frequency of night driving. Besides data culled by the company’s proprietary app, other digitally conveyed information — traffic patterns, local weather, collision data — is also taken into account. The company’s Quest Marine solution for shipping analyzes things like vessel statistics, movements, local weather, machinery information and more to provide new insights and rating factors.
Location: Austin, Texas
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Functions of Flash’s mobile-linked technology for lots, garages and valet operations include touch screens and smart stations, along with cloud-run software. For instance, its valet service features a payment and retrieval kiosk so guests can pay in advance and request cars, large-screen monitors that broadcasts vehicle retrieval status to guests, vehicle and staff tracking to keep track of parked cars and valet staff, key tracking and more. There’s also an interactive vehicle illustration so guests can mark up any areas of damage they notice.
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Fybr’s smart parking meters employ below-ground sensors that determine whether or not a car is parked in any given spot, along with that spot’s exact location. The driver can then pay for the spot via the company’s smartphone app. If the allotted time expires and isn’t extended, an alert is sent to city parking enforcement personnel.
Location: Wilmerding, Pennsylvania
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Wabtec Corporation is a global transportation and logistics company that merged with G.E. Transportation in 2019 to leverage its equipment, services and digital solutions in the locomotive, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries. G.E. Transportation rail industry services included IoT-enabled connectivity, real-time condition monitoring, predictive analytics and more. Technology like “intelligent cruise control” also helps maximize train lengths, improve handling and reduce fuel consumption.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Maersk’s remote containing management program employs internal sensors to gather and broadcast real‑time data on everything from temperature and humidity to CO2 levels. It also facilitates real-time 24/7 GPS tracking of containers, provides automatic notifications that keep cargo owners aware of any deviations in temperature or pull down rates, enables cargo rerouting and improves security.
Miami International Airport
Location: Miami, Florida
How it’s using IoT in transportation: The Miami airport’s vast network of beacons link with a mobile app so people can do everything from get directions and flight updates to shop and scan boarding passes.
Location: Bartlesville, Oklahoma
How it’s using IoT in transportation: MotoLingo’s telematics technology performs a variety of safety and efficiency functions, including recording driving time on a user’s smartphone, adjusting acceleration and braking from real-time feedback, calculating risks via smartphone GPS and more. Optional features include driver scores based on factors like speed limits and traffic signals, and diagnostic OBD hardware.
Location: El Segundo, California
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Connecting truckers with shippers, NEXT’s services include real-time tracking of shipments and delay notifications; support from a dedicated in-house account manager; carrier assignment via mobile app; map pinpointing of carriers; matching with available shipping loads and more.
Location: Los Angeles, California
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Shippabo provides IoT-enabled supply chain management solutions, including order management, customs insights, shipment tracking, SKU level product visibility, automated notifications and more.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Terbine’s data marketplace includes uploaded IoT information from a variety of sensor-equipped sectors, including the farming, shipping and traffic industries. It’s swirling with digital details about what’s happening in the real world, and those details can be purchased by interested parties. The company aims to make machine-generated data indexable, controllable and immediately applicable for business uses.
Location: San Francisco, California
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Veniam’s cloud platform handles a massive influx of data that enables a variety of different vehicles to communicate with each other in a vast urban ecosystem of moving things. Per its own description, the company turns vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots and builds networks that expand wireless coverage and collect loads of city data.
Location: Westerville, Ohio
How it’s using IoT in transportation: DHL has launched its DHL SmarTrucking solution that uses sensor-enabled trucks to gather fleet data like location, weather, traffic and shipment information. Predictive analytics allow for more efficient fleet scheduling and route optimization.
Location: San Francisco, California
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Lime has provided more than 250 million rides from its fleet of electric bikes and scooters across more than 200 cities on five continents. Lime uses IoT technology to speed up its supply chain process and offer pay-as-you-go pricing.
Location: Marietta, Georgia
How it’s using IoT in transportation: ParkENT Cycles started out as a smart bicycle rack company to prevent bike theft, but now the company has created secure e-bike charging stations. By connecting with smartphones, e-bikes can be locked up and charged electronically through an app.
Location: Palo Alto, California
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Dashroad is an advanced vehicle tracking dongle that gives car owners insights on their driving behaviors.
Location: Miami, Florida
How it’s using IoT in transportation: Ryder is a supply chain, transportation and fleet management company that utilizes technology for warehousing and distribution management, transportation logistics, e-commerce fulfillment and last mile delivery.