Increased mobility is one of the more obvious and utilitarian benefits of cloud computing. It lets employees access their files and applications from home, coffee shops, the train, or anywhere else with an Internet connection. Outside of work, it allows everyone everywhere to use their tablets and smartphones to play games, listen to music, watch movies, and communicate via Twitter and Facebook. Recently, the streaming media and remote access features of cloud computing have also been extended to the onboard systems of several mass-produced cars. But some auto industry observers and companies have begun looking beyond simple “infotainment” suites to more substantial features that will increase the safety, reliability, and functionality of vehicles.
In a far-sighted article, Justin Stoltzfus of Techopedia looked ahead to some of the possible applications of in-vehicle cloud computing beyond infotainment. A few of his more interesting predictions include:
-Cloud technologies will decrease the “on-site” hardware requirements of cars. Some of the computing equipment in the dashboard can be removed, increasing legroom and lowering the price of the car.
-A cloud-based system could adjust the suspension and/or sway bar of a vehicle according to the driver’s previous behavior or driving style and the conditions and topography of the road.
-Lane departure and pre-crash warning systems using satellite and sonar technology already exist. But a cloud-based system that tracked the location every car on the road would be more accurate and less costly.
-A cloud-based system could interpret weather data to automatically initiate the defroster, the windshield wipers, or other parts.
Two well-known features of cloud computing—its ability to reduce or eliminate on-site hardware and to crunch large amounts of complex data quickly and cost-effectively—inform many of Stoltzfus’s ideas and predictions. Meanwhile, another widely-regarded feature of cloud computing—the way it lets people stay integrated with their work (through remotely accessible files and applications) and lives (through online email and social media sites) no matter their location—has been incorporated by Ford in its Evos concept car and long-term cloud computing strategy. The company suggests that its cloud-enabled cars will eventually have the ability to:
-Start themselves up in the morning
-Lock the doors and set the alarm of a home connected to the same cloud
-Change the settings of the drivers’ alarm clocks based upon alterations to their cloud-based calendars
-Drive itself if its sensors detect that the driver has suffered a heart attack
-Parse traffic data to automatically suggest alternate routes
These ideas and developments also reinforce the high confidence of the public and major companies in the reliability, performance, and availability of cloud computing. A technology that was intrinsically prone to frequent downtime and slow or inconsistent performance would never be utilized to assist a car with its steering and emergency systems. Companies should therefore not feel any trepidation hosting their data in a Private Cloud from IronOrbit. We also supplement the already secure and reliable technology of the cloud with our impenetrable Orbital Security System (including antivirus, antispyware, and firewalls) and our performance-boosting Atomic Speed Technology. So while you wait for the cloud computing-enabled cars of future, hitch a ride with a present-day IT marvel that lets you access your files and applications from anywhere, quickly and securely—IronOrbit Private Cloud Solutions.