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Do Self-driving Cars Hold the Key to a Widespread IoT?

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In 2014, Continental Tires developed tires that “talk to you”. The innovation, dubbed eTIS (electronic Tire Information System), consists of sensors embedded beneath the tire tread. The sensors relay information about when your tires are underinflated, when tread is too low, and when your car has too much weight in it from a heavy load. This new entry in the annals of IoT tech was relatively quiet and unglamorous. Yet, it forecasted what we’re seeing now. Car manufacturers and tire manufacturers are throwing millions of dollars into technology that will enable a widespread internet of things.

Call it necessity facilitating innovation; as I reported in an earlier post here, 1.2 million people die in auto-related accidents every year. That means safety is in high demand. One way to increase safety is to embed things like tires with sensors that can communicate data with a car’s onboard computer. Another way is to replace humans with AI to create self-driving cars, which will hopefully do a better job than we do at driving.

For self-driving cars to truly succeed by 2020, the IoT needs 4.5 million developers. That’s because a comprehensive IoT infrastructure—in which smart cities talk to smart cars—will help driverless vehicles navigate …

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