Future of the Internet of Vehicles: Principles and Challenges

By S S Abisha

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The Internet of Vehicles (IoV) is a distributed network that supports the use of data created by connected cars and vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs). An important goal of the IoV is to allow vehicles to communicate in real time with their human drivers, pedestrians, other vehicles, roadside infrastructure and fleet management systems. All smart cars in IoV must have a reliable connection to the local infrastructure, other vehicles, and humans nearby.

The technological revolution of our age impacts all industries. Our desire for more intelligent and connected devices keeps growing. That’s why the Internet of Things is now all around us. In fact, it’s forecasted that the number of IoT connected devices will reach 64 billion by 2025, up from 10 billion in 2018. It empowers physical objects with the ability to communicate and interact with each other. Our cities are also becoming smarter and more connected. This will allow connected vehicles to slowly transform into autonomous ones, but none of this will be possible without a new advanced network. A key member that is among the reasons for such rapid growth in the use of IoT devices is the Internet of Vehicles (IoV). It allows vehicles to exchange information, efficiency and most importantly safety with others as well as with infrastructures using Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs), which originated from MANET or Mobile Ad-hoc Network. IoV is the evolution of that conventional VANET, which refers to the network of different entities, such as vehicles, pedestrians, roads, parking lots and city infrastructure and provides real-time communication among them.

The electronics used for that include infotainment systems, sensors, brakes, and GPS. There’s a clear need for better communication and interconnectivity between vehicles. As they’re turning into smart entities, cars are becoming an essential part of smart cities. The IoV makes car sensor platforms, which absorb information from the environment, other vehicles and from the driver. All this for safer navigation, traffic management, and pollution control. As we mentioned, the Internet of Vehicles is a network of cars communicating with each other and with pedestrian’s handheld devices, roadside units (RSUs) and public networks using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-road (V2R), vehicle-to-human (V2H) and vehicle-to-sensor (V2S) interconnectivity. This creates a network with intelligent devices as participants.

The Internet of Vehicle supports five types of network communication:

Fig 1: Internet of Vehicle Communication

Intra-Vehicle systems that monitor the vehicle’s internal performance through On Board Units (OBUs).

Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) systems that support the wireless exchange of information about the speed and position of surrounding vehicles.

Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) systems that support the wireless exchange of information between a vehicle and supporting roadside units (RSUs).

Vehicle to Cloud (V2C) systems that allow the vehicle to access additional information from the internet through application program interfaces (APIs).

Vehicle to Pedestrian (V2P) systems that support awareness for Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) such as pedestrians and cyclists.

How Does Internet of Vehicles Works

Satisfying the auto market today is a difficult task. The average modern car now has about 100 million lines of software code. This requires advanced coding techniques and management. The Internet of Vehicles can achieve higher customer satisfaction by providing updates on embedded codes. These are able to offer new services, which helps with increasing the aftermarket service revenue. As we already noted above the IoV uses all kinds of interconnectivity for creating a social network with smart objects as participants. This leads to the existence of the Social Internet of Vehicle (SIoV). Essentially that’s the vehicular instance of the Social IoT (SIoT).

All the sensors installed in vehicles, smart terminals, and platforms spread across modern urban infrastructure, whilst gathering information, communicate securely. Based on this data, vehicles are guided in real-time. Furthermore, the IoV connectivity allows manufacturers to identify any defects in their products and optimize reliability. This predictive maintenance lowers risks of failures or emergencies to a minimum. The IoV also gives manufacturers the ability to sell improved software versions with new features.

Architecture of Internet of Vehicles

To fully describe what the IoV is, we need to have a look over its architecture. A typical one consists of three layers:

Perception

It includes all sensors within the vehicle. This layer collects environmental data for detecting events, driving patterns, and situations. It also has radio frequency identification (RFID) and perception of the environment, vehicle position and other objects on the road.

Network

As the name suggests, that’s the communication layer. It ensures connectivity to all networks needed, such as WLAN, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or 5G. It supports the interconnectivity models.

Application

This third layer is responsible for analysis, storage, processing, and decision making about all possible risk situations. It represents efficiency, safety, and infotainment. All connected vehicles have their vehicular global ID or GID terminal at the core of the IoV. It addresses all problems with RFID, such as lack of speed or limited coverage. What’s most important, the GID provides vehicles with digital IDs, which are vital for automotive cyber security.

Why Is Internet of Vehicles So Important

The Internet of Vehicles is still more of an industry research area. This means only a small part of this research work is available to the public. Being a relatively young technology, its concept still faces some challenges. Once any security concerns are cleared out, the Internet of Vehicle is set to fundamentally transform the driving experience. The implementation of smart city infrastructure and its communication with our vehicles through the IoV will make it safer than ever.

Some of the importance is listed as follows

  • Improved Safety

Tragic statistics shared by the Association for Safe International Road Travel show that nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, which makes an average of 1,287 deaths a day. The main idea behind the implementation of IoV is to make vehicle transportation safer. The main reason for car accidents is human error. Fortunately, their number could be reduced through IoV technology. It monitors driving habits and send recommendations to the driver, as well as send them notifications of potential problems or emergencies. In fact, fleet companies are now using this technology in the UK to improve their employees driving experience. This could only mean that personal vehicles will soon follow this example and implement it as well.

  • Environmentally Friendly

Generally, the Internet of Things contains lots of information on city roads, which could be used to create green solutions. Singapore is a great example of that. They implement congestion charges and focus on investing in smart infrastructure. This has actually helped them to significantly reduce city toxic gas emissions. In Jamshedpur, India, people are also working towards improving infrastructure. Most of the streetlights are now IoT connected. This allows tracking movement on the road and switching the light when needed. Moreover, this saves on electricity consumption.

  • Convenience

Among the biggest advantages of IoV is that it improves user convenience. It provides the ability to remotely access a car, enabling a remote door locking, stolen vehicle detection or “find my vehicle” service. The last one can be extremely helpful if you’ve left your car in a huge parking lot. Such technology is helpful for transportation agencies. Plus, it improves real-time traffic, transit, and parking data, making it easier to manage transportation systems for reduced traffic and congestion.

  • Lifecycle Revenue

As you already know, smart infrastructure is able to collect data to get insights on car usage, location, conditions and driver habits at every second of a connected vehicle’s lifetime. This creates a whole new revenue stream for manufacturers. IoV enables a completely new aftermarket service. Automakers will get to know their customers better, which will give them the ability to offer targeted content or deals, like new paid features or even infotainment content. This personalized approach increases user engagement. With IoV, connected cars will be able to perform tasks for drivers such as payments. They’d even be able to pay for their insurance without human control.

Benefits of the Internet of Vehicles

Fig 2: Benefits of Internet of Vehicles

*Increased Safety of Transportation

One of the largest improvements IoV can offer is providing a much more accurate and rapid assessment of any situation on the road. A report from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that almost 94% of road accidents occur due to human error. Some of them are virtually impossible to eliminate.

Autonomous vehicles that operate within a suitable infrastructure significantly increase the safety of transportation. This is mainly ensured by the sensors and software that process car speeds, the temperature of the road, and the number of cars at any intersection.

In addition to removing human error, these systems can also monitor the condition of the various mechanical parts of the smart car and alert drivers of any potential malfunctions before accidents can occur.

*Faster Travel and Convenience

The internet of connected vehicles makes transit faster and improves user experience dramatically. A smart transportation infrastructure mainly helps achieve the following:

  • Decreased Congestion On The Roads: Real-time traffic monitoring and autonomous technology coupled together help optimize theroutes and speeds of moving vehicles to prevent traffic jams.
  • Optimized Routes: Mobile apps that receive real-time data from each user’s location can suggest what public transport to take to cut the travel time down.
  • Better Parking: Eastern Peak experts believe that for IoV clients, smart parking is one of the most desired features of the infrastructure. Beacons installed at parking spaces can lead drivers to vacant spots, while completely autonomous vehicles can park efficiently without any human intervention.
  • Remote Car Management: Smart cars that are visible on the network allow drivers to find their vehicles faster in a crowded parking lot, lock doors remotely, get any information about the condition of the car quickly, and track the car if someone steals it.

*Decreased Energy Consumption and Operating Costs

Smart transportation can also optimize the use of fuel, electricity, and human resources. For instance, conventional traffic lights work on timers, using more electricity and providing less efficiency than smart lights that adjust to the situation on the road. Better performance and resource allocation that connected vehicle technology ensures will also reduce the operating costs.

*Environmental Benefits

By optimizing the functioning of the transportation system, IoV technology can also have several incredibly beneficial impacts on the environment. Cities will see the largest influence on the reduction of CO2 emissions and the promotion of a more sustainable energy future. Connected vehicles will cut down greenhouse gas emissions by operating more efficiently. Also, car sharing and the use of public transport are likely to increase once they become as comfortable and fast as using a private car. This will reduce the number of vehicles on the roads, further toning down the harmful environmental impacts. Autonomous vehicles will also mainly be electric. By installing solar panels at recharging stations, cities will be able to significantly reduce their fuel and electricity consumption.

Challenges in Internet of Vehicles

The objective of IoV is to integrate multiple users, multiple vehicles, multiple things, and multiple networks, to always provide the best connected communication capability that is manageable, controllable, operational, and credible. It composes a truly complex system. Moreover, the applications of IoV are quite different from those of other networks, and, consequently, many special requirements arise. Both of these aspects bring new technical challenges to IoV research and development.

Poor Network Connectivity and Stability: Due to the high mobility and rapid changes of topology, which lead to frequent network disconnections and link failures, message loss should be common. Then, how to elongate the life of communication links is always challenging.

Hard Delay Constraints: IoV applications have hard delay constraints, although they may not require a high data rate or bandwidth. For example, in an automatic highway system, when a brake event happens, the message should be transferred and arrive in a certain time to avoid a car crash. In thiskind of application, instead of an average delay, a minimal delay would be crucial.

High Reliability Requirements: Transportation and driving-related applications are usually safety sensitive. Obviously, such an application requirement is high reliability. However, due to complex network architecture, large network scale, and poor stability of network topology, achieving high reliability in IoV is far from trivial. A special design should be conducted in various layers, from networking protocols to applications.

High Scalability Requirements: High scalability is another big challenge in IoV. As mentioned before, IoV is usually very large in terms of node number and deployment territory. Such a large scale certainly requires high scalability in IoV technology

Security and Privacy: Keeping a reasonable balance between the security and privacy is one of the main challenges in IoV. The receipt of trustworthy information from its source is important for the receiver. However, this trusted information can violate the privacy needs of the sender.

Service Sustainability: Assuring the sustainability of service providing in IoV is still a challenging task, calling for high intelligence methods, as well as a user-friendly network-mechanism design. There are challenges in adjusting all vehicles to provide sustainable services over heterogeneous networks in real-time, as they are subject to limited network bandwidth, mixed wireless access, lower service platforms, and a complex city environment.

Future of the Internet of Vehicles

According to a recent report by Allied Market Research, the global IoV market is expected to be over $200 billion by 2024 and several auto manufacturers, including BMW and Daimler, have announced programs to develop a platform that will connect IoV services like route management and smart parking with onboard infotainment centers.

Information technology (IT) vendors that are currently working with manufacturers and governing organizations to help build the Internet of Vehicles include Apple, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and SAP.

References

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