Connected Cars: An Overview of the Technological Innovations and What to Expect in the Future

As IoT advances, connected cars start to take the limelight. Today’s connected automobiles are widely used worldwide and can be seen as a part of the intelligent transportation system. A new advancement in technology is the intelligent car. The safety tasks on the road play a major role in the evolution of intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The connected car improves the security of the passengers as well as the pedestrians.  Connected cars and the technology behind this innovation reduce the negative effects the current transportation networks have on the environment.

What do connected cars mean?

A network of automobiles connected to the internet is referred to as connected cars. It has several features including internet access, remote vehicle control, and most importantly security measures to guarantee the safety of its passengers.

By using a variety of sensors and cutting-edge communication technologies, connected cars can make use of the “concept of connectivity.” Various sensors are included in these cars. Sophisticated onboard processors manage the data from the sensors instantaneously, allowing the vehicle to react automatically to unforeseen traffic conditions.

How information is gathered by connected vehicles

Connected cars can collect information about their immediate surroundings using many sensors. Temperature sensors, tire pressure sensors, cameras, Lidar, GPS, proximity sensors, and V2X are among the examples. Let’s learn about the sensors one by one.

  • Radars – Radar, also known as “radio detection and ranging,” is a sensor that can identify barriers in the road and offers exact details about their position and speed.
  • Lidar – Lidar creates an extensive three-dimensional map of the surrounding areas using laser pulses.
  • Cameras – Cameras give visual details about the environment. It helps with traffic sign recognition, pedestrian identification, and parking assistance.
  • The Global Positioning System – For GPS tracking, route planning, and navigation, location data is provided via the Global Positioning System or GPS.
  • IMU – The IMU (Inertial Measuring Unit) uses gyroscopes and accelerometers to measure the movement, acceleration, and direction of the vehicle.
  • V2x connection modules – The seven different kinds of vehicle connectivity are covered in the next section.
  • Temperature sensors – Temperature sensors monitor the environment’s temperature and help maintain ideal operation by preventing overheating.
  • Tire pressure sensors – Tire pressure sensors reduce fuel consumption and increase safety by monitoring the air pressure in the wheels and alerting the driver of any possible issues.
  • Proximity sensors – proximity sensors identify nearby objects, these sensors enable systems such as emergency braking and accident warning.

Based on the connectivity, there are seven different types of linked vehicle connectivities including,

  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure

This refers to an easy transfer of data collected by sensors as a consequence of observing traffic signals, road signs, and other moving vehicles. The exchange of information over short-range radio frequencies or cellular networks. This improves passenger safety and reduces the probability of collisions.

  • Vehicle-to-vehicle

This method provides a clear image of the obstruction in the vehicle’s immediate environment. Individuals can exchange information about their particular automobile. When a vehicle approaches a pedestrian, the passengers are alerted via their smartphones and smartwatches. It reinforces the safety of pedestrians.

  • Vehicle-to-device

It requires the driver to interact with their smartphone. A significant achievement is identifying the self-driving car on track.

  • Vehicle-to-grid

Plug-in hybrids, battery-electric cars, and even hydrogen fuel cell cars that utilize V2X technology balance the electrical grid.

  • Vehicle-to-Cloud

The connection between cars and cloud services is known as “vehicle-to-cloud.” Drivers can upload their driving preferences and skills to the cloud so that when he’s using a different automobile in the system, the particular vehicle can adapt to them.

  • Vehicle-to-network

This technology allows drivers to receive broad case warnings and converse with both other vehicles and regular pedestrians.

Analyzing the data

A distinctive component of software in the connected cars instantly examines the data within the vehicle. Additional raw data should be processed on the platform due to the increasing amount of raw data. Automotive big data platforms perform multi-stage processing on this data. They rectify errors in the first stage by using the “regression or interpolation” method. After that data gets compressed to optimize storage. The AI onboard the automobile processes and decompresses vital data that is required for reacting instantly when the necessity arises, while non-critical data gets uploaded in compressed format to the cloud. Since they are network-connected, smart automobiles send data from all of their sensors to the cloud where general knowledge is used to figure out maintenance needs and reactions to road conditions.

Cybersecurity and automobile connectivity

Additionally, manufacturers need to guarantee that customer data is kept safe and secure even in cases where consumers have remote access to their cars. To do this, manufacturers need to employ highly advanced authentication and encryption mechanisms. Finally, they must stay up to date on the latest advancements in cybersecurity and establish strategies for promptly responding to an assault.

To keep connected cars as secure as possible, reliable techniques that validate interactions, verify messages, and stop unwanted access must be included. Safe data transfer, reliable authentication methods, and secure data storage are crucial elements of vehicle cybersecurity.

  • PKI, Digital Certificates, and Key Management

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is necessary for the provision of digital certificate services and key management. It facilitates secure communication and authentication by encrypting data and authenticating users.

  • Exclusive PKI for Car Cybersecurity

Private PKI, made for the Internet of Things applications, makes sure that only approved software runs on automotive systems through secure boots and other improvements.

  • Turning on Secure Firmware Updates

Over-the-air (OTA) Firmware updates and Secure Boot are essential for cars to be secure while functioning. The users can use methods such as using a cryptographic signature and code signing to digitally verify the validity and integrity of software.

Advanced technologies in connected cars enable passengers to enjoy better, safer, and more autonomous transportation. More advanced, networked systems are built into current vehicles than ever before. Thus, while utilizing these vehicles, cybersecurity is crucial. It is the drivers’ responsibility to ensure that their cars are safe from cyber-attacks. Nevertheless, connected vehicle technology will continue to play a major role in the mobility industry’s future. Gen 5 connectivity will advance technology in the decades to come enabling cars to be more convenient to operate.


References and further reading:

Discover thousands of collaborative articles on 2500+ skills (no date). https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-do-connected-vehicles-function-patrick-mutabaz.

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