Volvo Cars: Capitalizing on the Internet of Things for Endless Opportunities to Keep Drivers Safe and Cars “Designed Around You”

By | August 18, 2016

If you’re in IT or data analytics, the latest buzz is all about the Internet of Things (IoT). Billions of sensors around the world generating data in volumes unheard of until now. But, what does the Internet of Things really mean to you, to your company, and to our world?  What companies are harnessing the potential of the Internet of Things to change the way they do business? Two words; Volvo Cars.  Plain and simple, Volvo Cars is using the Internet of Things and subsequently the Analytics of Things to further their vision of ‘protecting and caring for people.’

It’s one thing to generate the data, it’s quite another to channel it into Teradata’s Unified Data Architecture™ that can ingest the volumes and produce value. When a company like Volvo Cars can create the technology unicorn with data and advanced analytics, they can create some really cool stuff like Volvo Cars’ Project 26, Intellisafe Autopilot Self-Driving Cars, and further opportunities outside the traditional purview of an auto manufacturer.

 

“The self-driving cars, which is based on Internet of Things, need to be online to be autonomously driven.  That will create a new business situation; the fact is that we can offer new functionalities to the driver because the driver doesn’t need to drive the car any longer. Analytics is the enabler for getting there because it is a lot of analytics to have those autonomous driven cars.  It will be a lot of analytical applications too.” Jan Wassén, Director of Business Analytics, Volvo Cars

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 5.15.35 PMProject 26 is based on research that the average commute for a Volvo Cars customer is 26 minutes long.  Volvo Cars is capitalizing on data and advanced analytics to build a vehicle that gives drivers (or people who are supposed to be driving) alternatives while their cars drive them; designing the driver’s seat to turn into a desk for a mobile office, tailoring the dashboard to play entertainment, or do email.  All of this fulfills Volvo Cars’ brand promise to be “designed around you.”

“The fact is there are other players around that would like to take those 26 minutes. Others provide functionality to you when you have 26 minutes free.  We would like to make sure that we create an environment where we are, at least in the controlling position of how this is being used.  That is the first step.” –  Jan Wassén, Director of Business Analytics, Volvo Cars

But the data is only half the story. Volvo Cars understands its turning the Internet of Things (IoT) into the Analytics of Things (AoT) to create the next generation safety features for vehicles like Road Friction Indication.  Imagine if you hit a patch of ice. Your car takes that sensor data and sends it to cars and their drivers behind you to warn them that there is ice ahead.  Volvo Cars takes that one step further and will send an alert to road crews to treat that stretch of pavement making it safer for everyone on the road.

Safety is Volvo Cars number one priority and so with the analytic applications and sensors, they have engineered these futuristic features for drivers (but consumers get them today!)

  • Pedestrian & Animal Detection
  • Road Edge & Barrier Detection
  • Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
  • Self Parking & Adaptive Cruise Control with Steer Assist

But, we’re not even to the ‘game changer’ for Volvo Cars and that is the scores of new business opportunities right in front of them.

“When we come to ‘Transportation as a Service’ or ‘Mobility as a Service,’ there’s a game changer for the whole society.  We’ve heard about removing parking lots in larger cities because you don’t need so many cars.  The full ownership of the vehicle will look different at least in the bigger cities and megacities in the future.  We’re pretty sure about that.  The obvious next step for big cities is that you have a car service, rather than owning the vehicle. That is a full change of our business principles.” – Jan Wassén, Director of Business Analytics, Volvo Cars

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The full change of business principles means that this auto manufacturer is launching into much more than just building cars.  They are providing services for a lifestyle. With that, Volvo Cars has launched Sunfleet, a car-sharing service.  Volvo Cars knows their vehicles will always work because data and advanced analytics tell them when the car needs to go in for service.

Congratulations, Volvo Cars on all of success with the Internet of Things AND the Analytics of Things!

 

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