The internet of things (IoT) is transforming every industry on the planet. According to DevPro Journal, “The New Eclipse Foundation’s IoT Commercial Adoption Survey found that about 40 percent of industry leaders responding to the survey say that their organisations are using IoT solutions today, and 22 percent more plan to deploy IoT in the next two years.” And the existing investment is expected to increase heavily as well. So, it makes sense that transportation and road safety are impacted by this adoption too.
How is IoT helping improve road safety and change transit? We’ll break it down.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
First, it’s important to understand what IoT is. The IoT is a system of sensors, cameras and other devices that communicate with each other and with central hubs to provide real-time data for human and machine-based decision making.
How can it improve road safety?
According to Investopedia, “The goal behind the Internet of things is to have devices that self-report in real-time, improving efficiency and bringing important information to the surface more quickly than a system depending on human intervention.” So in a transportation and transit environment, this translates to a number of improvements to road safety and productivity:
#1 Monitoring fleets
According to Medium, “By adding IoT sensors to fleet vehicles new opportunities for business efficiency appear. Fleet operators need accurate data to maximise the efficiency of each vehicle and driver. Using the same technology as BoxyMo, operators can keep track of fleet productivity, as well as gaining insight into driver behaviours and vehicle performance.” And that allows for smarter routing, coaching and team investment opportunities that just weren’t available at scale before. Lastly, these sensors can improve our eco-friendly initiatives by managing speed, fuel sources and more.
#2 Risk response
Previously, there was no real way to know about road disasters before they happened. If a manhole cover blew off or a water main burst, it would cause problems and then it would get reported and fixed. But with IoT, every possible road condition can be monitored for risk response. Faulty power lines, underground pressure, water lines and more don’t need to go critical before they are repaired. AI can route support teams to potential hazards in real-time, preventing most road issues.
#3 Inter-vehicle communication
Beyond analysing traffic patterns, pedestrian movements and road surface conditions; vehicles can talk to each other. By sharing information about their route, travel purpose, vehicle condition, occupancy information and more; smart navigation can expertly move vehicles throughout the network autonomously. And this reduces the human error possible when responding to changes along the journey. According to Frotcom, “The geolocation data will enable these connected vehicles to share each vehicle’s speed and position, resulting in fewer collisions and emergency braking manoeuvres.” And that will go a long way to reducing preventable road traffic accidents.