·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


Will the IoT Impact Company Cars?

— March 11, 2020

The automobile industry is one of the most fertile for growing IoT technology. There are numerous developments that can change the driving experience for both individuals and companies.

The Internet of Things has its revolutionary eyes set on the world of automobiles. While many of us expected to have self-driving cars by now, that reality is still a good few years away. Connected cars though? They’ve already made a mark on the scene and are here to stay.

The modern automobile has become just another device ripe for IoT integration. This will have business owners speculating about what this means for their company vehicles. So, what impact can they expect? 

Insurance benefits

One of the first questions every business owner asks themselves about their company cars is “how much is this going to cost me on insurance?”

The rise of connected cars is set to play a part in how insurance companies determine their pricing, leveraging their increased access to data on individual vehicles and determining their prices based on this information. The impact of the IoT will likely see efforts from insurance companies to become more entwined with manufacturers so as to improve access to this information.

Access to real-time reports on individual driving behavior will mean your company cars now have unique rates applied to them. Business owners will want to encourage safer driving from their staff more than ever before, as there are likely to be discounts and refunds for safe driving habits. Tracking this information will likely require a plug-in device such as the kind produced by Liberty Mutual and other insurance providers. 

Improved security

With the advancement of IoT integration, vehicle security goes far beyond worrying about having your car keys stolen, for both better and worse. 

On the negative side, the potential of your company car being hacked is now a genuine concern. Connecting your vehicle to the internet leaves it vulnerable to hacking from nefarious sources, with hackers able to use your smartphone to manipulate every factor from the windows to the ignition.

Unfortunately, as long as your car is connected to a smartphone or navigational technology, it is open to danger and the theft of personal or company information. In the most extreme circumstances, your drivers could face their engines being stopped in the middle of traffic. Situations such as this have led to the advancement of firewall technology for automobiles in recent years.

Man using smartphone. Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash.
Man using smartphone. Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash.

When it comes to protection from security issues though, the IoT has a lot going for it on the vehicle front. Beyond giving you the technology to switch on your engine and warm up your vehicle as you finish your breakfast in the morning, your phone can now be used to lock your car, flash the lights and act as a replacement set of keys should you lose them. If your company vehicle is being broken into, any connected device will be quickly alerted, making recovering details of the theft and eventually the vehicle easier than ever. 

Budget monitoring

As businesses that operate company cars will know, keeping them within a tight budget is a difficult ask, especially considering the additional cost considerations not inherently obvious at first glance.

Fuel cards have emerged as a brilliant method of saving money for businesses with large fleets of drivers or employees regularly needing to cross the country for meetings. Using them can help your business make small savings every time fuel is purchased, as this website details.

The IoT takes this a step further. If your company cars are connected it allows you to have a much more holistic view of the car’s condition.

You don’t just have a simple fuel meter telling you you need to fill it up, but instead business owners are given an idea remotely of how much fuel, oil or even window washing fluid the driver needs at that moment. 

This allows you to get a much clearer idea of the budgetary requirements for your company cars, leading to better preparation on the road and a cheaper overall process of vehicle management. 

Faster, safer travel to meetings

When company cars are used, the balance between safety and efficiency is a common question. Thankfully, the IoT opens businesses up to providing a much faster journey for their employees without risking their safety. 

IoT technology promotes a safer driving experience and helps assist drivers in avoiding road accidents. When connected with smart city technology, drivers can be alerted to accidents and dangerous conditions, while connected vehicles will have a greater awareness of when a driver is veering off the road due to tiredness, with some even taking matters into their own hands.

The advent of smart sensors within the surface teaches connected vehicles about the condition of road surfaces and bridges, gaining real-time insights into their conditions and re-routing their trip around this information. 

In the interest of getting your drivers to their destination as quickly as possible, connected vehicles collaborate with IoT roads which report real-time information about traffic, helping to plan driver’s trips on the fly so they avoid crowded areas. This means less time and money spent driving in company cars. 

The automobile industry is one of the most fertile for growing IoT technology. There are numerous developments that can change the driving experience for both individuals and companies managing numerous cars. Any business owner with a vested interest should be planning in advance for full implementation. 

Join the conversation!