Connected Car

23. Mar 2021 | By Tim Ruhoff

Connected cars are vehicles that learn to communicate with their environment. Powerful processors in the infotainment system send huge amounts of data to the car - via the ultra-fast LTE wireless network.

What does Connected Car mean?

Connected cars offer drivers a whole range of Internet services: Music streaming services or the right app for restaurant tips and sights at the destination. Access to general databases (such as Wikipedia) is possible, Facebook and Co. are permanently available.

Many car manufacturers support MirrorLink - a connection between the smartphone and the infotainment system. The content of the mobile phone is mirrored in the screen. The customer can operate apps on the cell phone directly on the screen. Service offerings are designed to fulfill the customer's every wish. From reserving a seat at their favorite restaurant to making a service appointment at the garage.

What data is networked?

Environmental data

Hotels are booked directly while on the road, and the real-time navigation system requests current traffic information online from other networked vehicles. This way, the driver knows immediately where and how long a traffic jam really is and which alternative route makes sense.

The search for a parking space is simplified: Your car is connected to the Internet, the parking meter reports the free parking space. A major goal of networked vehicles is significantly increased safety. Electronically networked cars could cause only half as many accidents at intersections. They would receive information about other speeding vehicles and activate the brakes. Children could be detected - on their cell phones - behind obstacles.

Connected cars could reduce accidents, because almost accidents are caused by human error. Assistance systems can mitigate these errors.

Driver-related data

For successful fleet management, you need information not only about your vehicle, but also about your driver. You need to anticipate driver behavior.

For example, you can avoid short trips (less than 5 km) by raising awareness. You can offer alternative means of transport in case of bad weather. You already know the day before that the weather will be bad, you know which driver takes which route. Then you can react accordingly. For a correct taxation of a pool car you need data of the driver: Was the car used privately? When? How long? All this information is clearly stored and available to you.

Vehicle related data

An intelligent telematics system supports you, for example, with the GPS location of your fleet and provides you with important information about the activities of vehicles and drivers. OnBoard Analytics analyses in real time all the data supplied by the numerous sensors. All parts of the car are monitored - this is especially interesting for transport companies.

The system constantly monitors a variety of safety-relevant aspects. Tyre pressure, oil level, brake fluid, but also the stability of the load. If there are any abnormalities, it immediately alerts the driver to the problem.

A sophisticated early warning system draws your attention to important dates. You get information about the wear of important parts and when they need to be replaced.

The deployment plan and the driver's routes for the next few days are known. In the event of damage, the telematics system automatically finds the nearest workshop and makes an appointment. Data of the vehicle can be sent to the workshop in advance. The driver is informed about the appointment. In this way, there are no delays and no inconvenience for driver and customer. The telematics system receives regular updates. They further improve safety, productivity and performance. An entire fleet can be managed efficiently.

How is networked data protected?

Data is sensitive, it must be handled sensitively and kept secure. Connected cars are legally - still - a grey area. The protection of networked data has not been clarified down to the last detail. As the person responsible for corporate car sharing, you must respect the privacy of customers and employees alike.

What do connected cars mean for fleets?

A vehicle fleet is confronted with many influences. Car sharing instead of vehicle ownership, electric mobility and the concept of the smart city. Mixed mobility (switching between public transport, your own car, car sharing, taxi and Uber) and technological advances such as semi-autonomous driving and driver assistance systems - all have an impact on your work.

An optimally managed fleet is based on one (or a combination) of the three fundamentals.

  • Information: Location of the vehicles and their route.
  • Safety: For the driver and the vehicle.
  • Optimization: Bringing service, people or goods to the customer better, faster and more efficiently.

The concept of car sharing alone is a major challenge for anyone responsible for a fleet. The taxation of a pool vehicle is different from the taxation of a company car.

For corporate car sharing, fleetster has developed a convincing car sharing kit that works with every type of vehicle and every brand. It combines information about the vehicle (fuel level, charge level, mileage) with useful tools (smartphones open the car) with intuitive usability. Your employees book your car quickly and independently, get access to the vehicle, enter all important data into the driver's logbook, - even the return is done easily with the CarSharing Kit. Networked cars support Corporate CarSharing with powerful tools.