IoT Works is an Internet of Things (IoT) focused venture fund that brings together the best ideas, people, resources and financing. We build, invest and buy companies creating the Internet of Things.
Today's newsletter edition focuses on IoT applications for your car. Need help finding your car? Looking for ways to be more safe on the road? Read on!
Cars of the Future
By 2030, city streets will teem with small, driverless cars whose wireless capabilities direct traffic flow smoothly, rendering traffic lights unnecessary, car designers and automotive visionaries say. The cars themselves will be made of collapsible, lightweight material, allowing them to be tucked into the tiniest parking crevices.
Cloud computing will enable riders to work or play games during their commutes while listening to their favorite music as chosen by the car, says Kevin Dallas, general manager of Microsoft Windows Embedded. The software giant is working with Ford, BMW and others to make vehicles more connected.
Read more about the vision for future cars...
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport installed a smart parking system for its hourly and daily garages, which combine to offer 13,200 parking spaces.
Sensors embedded in each parking space at BWI detect whether the space is occupied, with that information fed into a central parking management system.
Read more about sensor-enabled, smarter parking...
Implementing Autonomous Cars
Europe's SARTRE (SAfe Road TRains for the Environment) project, first established in 2009, has come to an end, with the results proving positive for all those involved. One of the partners was Swedish automakerVolvo, which is now looking at integrating some of the findings in its production cars and hopes to eventually become a leader in the field of autonomous cars.
The idea is that each road train or platoon will have a lead vehicle that drives exactly as normal, with its driver in full control of all the various functions. This lead vehicle is driven by an experienced person who is thoroughly familiar with the route. For instance, the lead may be taken by a taxi, a bus or a truck.
Read the full article about Volvo and autonomous car research...
Improving car safety with HUDs
The GM 'HUD' uses a series of mirrors and a display screen to showcase speed and tachometer readings, vehicle warnings,
turn signal activation, external temperature, and vehicle and radio controls. Drivers can adjust the brightness and location of the image, or turn it off.
The base technology is already in production, coming standard on the redesigned 2013 Acadia Denali unveiled at the Chicago Auto show this year. GM is currently working to enhance the 'HUD' with features designed to facilitate driving in adverse conditions. In a future implementation, small ultraviolet lasers might interface with vehicle sensors and cameras to turn the entire windshield into a display screen, automatically highlighting the road's edge or signage to assist safe driving in fog or heavy rain.
See a demonstration of the GM HUD....
Hiriko Fold for $16K
The "Hiriko", is compact, foldable and three Hirikos can fit into a single parking space due to a special mechanism that tucks the rear of the car under the chassis. Hiriko's length can be reduced to the width of an ordinary automobile.
Besides this, the Hiriko folding car is fitted with robot wheels which turn on its axis making it possible for the car to move sideways making parallel parking possible. Hiriko is a two seater model with ability to travel upto 65 miles on a single recharge. Production is expected to commence from early next year with the vehicle scheduled to go on sale in Spain from mid 2013.
Watch Hirkio in action...
Kickstarter Success: Find My Car Smart
The app will indicate where you have parked your car, how far away you are and how long you have parked at that location. When you start your car, the Find My Car Smarter App wirelessly connects to the Find My Car Smarter Device. After you have parked your car your engine and the Find My Car Smarter Device, powered by your cigarette lighter, turn off.
The App realizes that your car is parked and then activates the GPS on your iPhone momentarily to save your car's location. If you lose your car, simply launch the app and it will help you navigate your way back by showing you your current location and the location of where you last parked your car.
Check out Find My Car Smart on Kickstarter...
Seeing through Rain and Snow
Standard vehicle headlights improve driver visibility at night by illuminating the road and the surrounding environment. Unfortunately, they also illuminate raindrops and snowflakes making them appear as bright flickering streaks that are distracting to the driver.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon propose a headlight capable of avoiding precipitation to improve driver visibility while
adequately illuminating the road. This reduces driver stress and makes roads more safe during rain and snow storms. They have conducted simulations and built a prototype system to show that the approach is feasible and effective. Demonstration of the prototype system with an artificial rain drop generator is encouraging making the falling rain disappear in front of the observer.
Read more about the working being done at Carnegie Mellon...
GM and P2P Car Sharing
Through its subsidiary, OnStar, GM announced this summer that it would let its 6 million customers participate in RelayRides, vastly expanding that peer-to-peer car-sharing service. OnStar is a subscription service that provides customer support, turn-by-turn directions, emergency services, and more to GM cars equipped with the hardware. While the OnStar service is probably useful for most, it has definitely raised some privacy eyebrows over customer tracking and remote stopping.
Because the on-board setup includes a cell modem to communicate back with its servers, the service seems poised to also be used as a way to remotely lock and unlock vehicles. This is exactly what RelayRides hopes to do. By using the OnStar system, RelayRides allows car owners and renters to avoid having to exchange keys or install extra hardware
Read more about the GM's P2P car sharing...