Smart Data has quickly become one of the most valuable assets a company can have. Recent advances in computer science mean that if you can track something, you can analyze and optimize it with the right tech.
Big data is information collected at a scale that can’t be analyzed without the use of specialized digital tools. It’s usually gathered by complex networks of “smart” sensors, typically Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Car manufacturers are using this kind of smart data to improve how they manufacture and test new vehicles. Here’s how it works.
1. Connected and Self-Driving Vehicles
Autonomous cars, which are capable of limited or total self-driving, are the next big frontier for many automakers. For these cars to work, they need to collect and process massive amounts of data.
Most autonomous cars are outfitted with cameras that pull in real-time visual information about the road ahead. The onboard processing system then processes this real-time data to “see” what’s in front of the car. This information then helps control the vehicle. Road markings keep the car in its lane, while brake lights ahead may cause an automobile to slow down or hit the brakes as needed.
Some autonomous cars will also be able to “talk” to each other and other systems using onboard smart data collection systems. The tech is called Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X). While not in widespread use yet, this tech will be foundational in creating safe self-driving cars.
For example, one autonomous car with C-V2X tech may alert other vehicles when braking. Another may warn cars behind it of bad weather conditions on the road ahead. The tech will also allow cars to communicate with smart city traffic systems, providing better info on traffic flow and density.
2. Improved Demand Forecasting and Marketing Analysis
Big data can also help companies predict sudden fluctuations in demand. By using a combination of historical and real-time sales data, a big data analytical model can effectively predict current and future demand for a given car model.
Some more advanced models can also go beyond sales data. If a company has access to any other information on factors that can impact sales — including economic health indicators and industry-wide demand — they can also fold this in. The system can consider it in addition to the historical sales data to create more accurate predictions.
The same tech can also be applied to vehicle marketing. By training artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms on massive stores of customer data, companies can get a better sense of which customers prefer certain cars and why. The insights these algorithms uncover can then be used to create more effective ad campaigns. These data-driven marketing campaigns can serve offers and deals to customers based on what is most likely to interest them.
3. How Data Is Changing the Automotive Industry
New tech is rapidly changing how automakers approach their businesses. Big data and advanced, real-time data analytics have made self-driving cars more practical than ever. While these vehicles aren’t on the road yet, automakers are already adopting standards and readying tech for the roll-out of autonomous automobiles over the next few years.
Big data is also changing how automakers approach demand forecasting. New predictive models that take advantage of these big data sets can more accurately forecast consumer demand and interest.