IBM Launches IoT for Automotive Service

IBM announces a new service called the Internet of Things for Automotive that helps auto makers gather data and get real-time analysis on it.

Connected car

IBM has announced a new IBM Cloud-based service to help automakers turn driver and vehicle data into actionable insights for predictive vehicle maintenance, real-time diagnostics on engine trouble, and to guide drivers to the most efficient traffic routes.

With its new Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive solution, IBM is helping automotive manufacturers gather data from individual sensors that can be combined with other data for real-time analysis. The service provides driver, vehicle and environmental insights through analytics, tapping both vehicle and geo-location data collected in the car. It also delivers new insights from third party data such as from parking providers as well as an automotive manufacturer’s customer data and vehicle history, IBM said.

According to Telefonica’s “Connected Car Industry Report,” by 2020, 90 percent of new cars will be equipped with extensive connectivity services. To make the most of this connectivity, automakers are increasingly using IoT solutions that help to securely deliver data generated from cars directly to the cloud for near real-time analysis.

Continental, an international automotive supplier, is using IBM MessageSight and IBM InfoSphere Streams, components of the IBM IoT for Automotive solution, to help manage complex data streams and apply analytics to its eHorizon solution, which enables vehicle electronics to anticipate road conditions using digital mapping and crowd sourced data.

“The number of connected devices continues to grow at an extraordinary rate, and we are constantly on the lookout to use the data generated from those devices in a meaningful way,” said Brian Droessler, head of software & connected Solutions in Continental's Infotainment & Connectivity business unit, in a statement. “Together with IBM, we can better manage complex streams of data and apply analytics in a way that’s secure, allowing us to create innovative solutions.”

IBM is teaming with Continental on this IoT for automotive effort. The IBM IoT for Automotive solution is available on IBM Cloud’s SoftLayer infrastructure.

“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,” said Dirk Wollschlaeger, general manager for the global automotive industry at IBM, in a statement. “By combining data directly from the car with other sources, the insights derived through the IBM IoT for Automotive solution have the potential to change how we interact with our vehicles moving forward.”

In addition to the rich driver and vehicle insights enabled by IBM’s IoT for Automotive service, the IBM IoT Foundation enables developers to easily build new applications, as the platform supports very short application development cycles and capabilities ranging from rapid prototyping to scalable productive solutions.

Meanwhile, IBM also announced two new business units that will apply the company’s strengths in big data, analytics and cognitive computing to the IOT and education markets, respectively.

Big Blue also named Harriet Green, formerly CEO and executive director of the Thomas Cook Group and of Premier Farnell plc, as vice president and general manager for the new units. Green will be responsible for developing these and other new growth businesses.

“Harriet brings to IBM a strong, proven track record as a transformative leader,” said John E. Kelly, senior vice president, solutions portfolio and research, in a statement. “Throughout her career, across multiple geographies and cultures, she has consistently shown a deep understanding of the needs of her customers and clients, and how to help them achieve their goals and aspirations. Her creativity and vision will help organizations transform themselves to take fuller advantage of emerging data and cognitive technologies.”