What Cloud Development Means for the Future of the Auto Industry

By: Fran Howarth - Leave a comment


Cloud computing has transformed IT and the way we use technology. For consumers, the cloud provides instant access to information and entertainment and enables the storage of vast swaths of personal files. Meanwhile, organizations no longer need to purchase on-premises storage or software. Now, they can access subscription-based services on demand. Thanks to cloud development, including big data analytics, we can analyze massive sets of data in real time and glean actionable intelligence.

The movement toward the cloud is changing the face of many industries. For example, cloud impacts the future of manufacturing through capabilities such as advanced analytics and on-demand services. Cloud-based services are also causing a digital disruption in the automotive sector, bringing what some have dubbed the “transportation cloud,” an entirely new way of getting from point A to point B.

Cloud Development Shakes Up the Auto Sector

Digital disruption is leading to new transportation models such as Uber and Zipcar. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry by replacing the traditional system with a shinier, more streamlined service orchestrated through an app. The company claims to undercut taxi fares considerably — suddenly, it’s a viable option to use the service in situations as routine as a visit to a shopping mall. Meanwhile, Zipcar rentals enable a reduction in car ownership by allowing users to rent a car only when they need it, thereby altering the economic underpinnings of the auto industry.

In the IT sector, cloud services have led to a huge reduction in the need for storage devices. There’s a comparable trend in the automotive sector: carpooling. This service is possible through the instant communications that cloud-based services provide, as well as through the use of routing software to identify passengers with common routes, reducing the cost of a journey for each passenger. Carpooling could also reduce emissions and improve road capacity, helping to reduce highway congestion. A recent Carplus Annual Survey found that 10.5 cars are removed from the road by each carpool vehicle in the U.K., and an estimated 55,000 potential car purchases were deferred thanks to the service.

As Tech Gets Smarter, So Do Cars

Cars are becoming increasingly more interconnected and tech-equipped. This trend allows a range of new digital services to be offered through cloud development, including remote diagnostics, safety services, improved navigation and personalized infotainment. Vehicle sensors and cameras transmit data to and from the cloud in real time. According to ABI Research, over-the-air software updates will be possible for more than 200 million vehicles worldwide by 2022. Such capabilities will make it possible to fix defects remotely, saving automotive manufactures up to $6 billion per year. Information gleaned through analytics will also prove useful for automotive manufacturers, enabling them to optimize the design, safety and performance of their cars.

Cloud-based solutions like real-time monitoring and analytics will usher in other benefits, too, including the ability to track the behavior of both the vehicle and the driver. This capability will allow insurance carriers to tie policies more closely to how, when and where vehicles are driven, rather than details like the gender and the age of the driver.

The advantages of cloud computing aren’t just for IT: The technology can disrupt many industrial sectors through advancements that shake up markets and require organizations to adapt. The disruptions in the automotive sector will be far-reaching, but it will bring a wide range of benefits to both companies who know how to get the most out of their switch to the cloud.

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About The Author

Fran Howarth

Freelance Writer

Fran Howarth is an industry analyst and writer specializing in cybersecurity. She has worked within the security technology sector for more than 25 years in an advisory capacity as an analyst, consultant and writer. Fran focuses on the business needs for security technologies, with a focus on emerging technology sectors. Current areas of focus include... Read More