However, these are not simply overused abstract concepts. Instead, these Internet of Things terms represent huge changes in much of the technology we deal with in our daily lives.
Some of those changes have made things better. They are making our interaction with machines and information more natural and more powerful. This includes recruitment of IoT technology into our vehicles, highways and even our streetlights.
Internet of Things for Vehicles, Highways and Street Lights
More and more intelligent cars and autonomous vehicles are joining the roads we travel. Some engineers are thinking about what can be done to smarten up the streets on which they travel. Integrating Internet of Things engineering, scientific, technical, R&D (research and development) and IT (information technology) may hold the key.
This recruitment will allow an exchange of information. Smart cars and trucks can ‘talk’ to other vehicles, traffic-management centers and private companies. They can relay information about traffic congestion, accidents and weather conditions. The key to making this happen is an IoT system that communicates with sensors embedded in the roadway and then in turn into traffic lights.
Existing intelligent transportation systems provide some of those features now. For example, information gathered by traffic-monitoring cameras can adjust traffic signals to ease congestion in real time. Sensor-equipped parking lots can notify drivers of empty spots via their smartphone.
There are even some Internet of Things pilot projects to monitor traffic and road conditions. One such system is Austria’s Autobahn. There, Cisco’s Connected Roadways system links some 70,000 sensors and 6,500 traffic cameras together.
However, no comprehensive IoT based transportation system has been fully deployed. This is according to Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow Phillip A. Laplante. Phillip is a professor of software and systems engineering at Penn State Great Valley, in Malvern, PA. He authored “‘Smarter Roads and Highways.”
An IEEE Internet of Things Magazine article shares the benefits of Internet of Things. These benefits enable roads, security and privacy concerns and technical standards that could ensure interoperability.
“An Internet of Things enabled traffic-monitoring system uses a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure and infrastructure-to-infrastructure communication systems and analytics to manage traffic situations,” Laplante says. “They’ll be able to interoperate with other systems such as drones and traffic-awareness services, like Waze.”
Laplante wrote the article to help accelerate the deployment of IoT-enabled roads. He hopes to assist manufacturers of smart and IoT enabled vehicles, roadway construction companies, city planners, engineers as well as others in this goal. The article was published in the magazine’s most recent issue.
The publication was launched last September and is sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society. It is a forum for practitioners to share experiences, develop best practices and establish guiding principles for technical, operational and business success.
Paving The Way
Municipalities can start making their roadways smarter right now. Laplante says they can deploy off-the-shelf sensors. All types of wireless or wired IoT sensors can collect data about a road’s condition, the weather and even wildlife-movement patterns.
Sensors can be installed on existing traffic lights to improve the flow of traffic. Some traffic signals could communicate with each other to create a continuous sequence of green lights to keep traffic moving.
Security and Privacy
Of course security and privacy of information are a concern for all IoT applications. Extra care must be taken with highways, Laplante says. The physical assets of the system must be protected against damage, vandalism and theft. All information transmitted wirelessly must be secured against eavesdropping and hacking.
Additionally, law-enforcement agencies and insurance companies could use the collected information for purposes other than its original purpose. We must protect against using the information to monitor someone’s driving habits or tracking a car’s location.
Internet of Things Talent Recruiting Soaring
The challenges of building Internet of Things enhanced highways might seem daunting. Laplante says, “This should motivate engineers and scientists to develop new solutions, because the benefits of smarter roads and highways are so great.”
I expect this rapid expansion of IoT into new areas such as vehicles, highways and streetlights will create more jobs for engineers, scientists, research and development (R&D) and technical talent in the future. This is in direct contrast to what Mark Cuban predicted.
I challenged Mr. Cuban’s position during my recent media appearance on CBS Radio affiliate WBBM News Radio 780. This was an interview on Thursday, May 30, 2019 hosted by Rob Hart. Please click here to listen to my segment in its entirety.
Call me today at 312-944-4000 to discuss how we can assist with your engineering, technical, R&D, scientific, technical, IT and manufacturing recruitment efforts in the highly competitive fields of Internet of Things, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Virtual (VR) and Augmented (AR) Reality. Or click here for my full contact information.