Can connected cars drive IoT monetisation?


Industrial IoT (IIoT) continues to garner most of the investment activity and generate most of the revenue in the space. In the instrumented construction equipment space, for example, the market is so mature that equipment users expect that predictive maintenance savings are already reflected in pricing.

Increasingly they also expect to be compensated for allowing the equipment supplier to make use of “their” data. Conversely, business models for consumer IoT (including products such as wearables and smart home) are still being developed. How is it possible to better monetise IoT plays aimed at consumers and grow this market?

The connected car has many advantages when viewed as an IoT platform. Today’s vehicles contain sensors and other computing centres all over the vehicle, connected to a TCU using an internal network. Connected vehicles also have access to cloud storage and external sources of data and intelligence through wireless networks and mobile apps. They possess onboard processing power to act on locally generated data, making changes to the vehicle’s physical environment or selecting appropriate data sets to send to the cloud for further analysis. But again, how can all these capabilities be leveraged while monetising IoT offerings?

If IoT value is created by solving a problem, IoT monetisation is created to enhance the solution. Here are the four ways connected cars can drive IoT monetisation.

Turn data into insights

Identify relevant data to collect. The goal is to gain insights which help create entirely new products and/or improve existing ones. Create an algorithm to identify important data and extrapolate trends that offer tangible value to both your operations and the customer’s satisfaction. The product or service that enables rich services for drivers and passengers through OTA updates or streamlines the OEM’s operations will get market traction. That is, provided the buyer can find it.

Bring together your customers and suppliers

The key to bringing new apps and services to customers and growing developer and supplier support is by creating a dedicated place for them to come together. A place where the OEM can cultivate a vibrant ecosystem of hardware, software, firmware, content and service providers, and where innovative business models needed to monetize this ecosystem are realised. To turn this place into a marketplace, the OEM must be able to provide a branded user experience, merchandising offerings, and a secure OTA model so drivers can discover products and services for their connected lives and have them delivered to the car remotely.

Deploy a dedicated commerce platform

Turning the Internet of Things into the ‘Monetisation of Things’ for any organisation comes with the inevitable commerce portion of the equation. Enabling secure international commerce, handling local taxation and other complexities is a challenge no OEM wants to deal with nor take lightly. By deploying a trusted commerce platform an OEM can deploy a range of flexible business models from one-time purchase and subscription through to pay per use or bundles. Additionally, the OEM should be able to painlessly offer drivers trials, premium upgrades and feature add-ons. The OEM can retain their customer and establish new revenue streams long after the initial vehicle purchase. Finally, the OEM should be able to easily share sales revenue and reconcile cost sharing with partners.

Provide real life use cases

Predictive maintenance is an interesting use case that pulls things together. It all starts when an automotive OEM test team discovers a relationship between sensor readings, for example; heat and vibration originating from a set of parts, and resulting breakdowns. It is determined that proactively replacing parts exhibiting these behaviors is a win for the driver, OEM and dealer. The solution components include a sensor instrumentation package to listen for the tell-tale pattern. This information is forwarded to a cloud service which interfaces to find a dealer, and after reaching out to the driver using an app on the vehicle head unit, mobile device or portal, schedules the service and orders the required parts. This scenario ultimately ties the traditional servicing model of vehicles to IoT, enabling intuitive servicing and customer retention.

When looking at the capabilities of the connected car, the market can indeed drive consumer IoT monetisation, provided the OEM leverages the power of data analytics, a central platform for drivers and developers, and a commerce solution to drive new business models and enhance traditional ones. 

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