The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), one of the hottest up-and-coming modern-day technologies, proves a factor influencing consumer behavior as well as future retail shops (article entitled “An Internet Presence in Business World: New Types of Customers!”). Besides, one cannot ignore the significant role of IoT in the enhancement of logistics business potential.
We are referring to the World Mobile Congress 2016 which took place last February 22-25. The event was the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry as well as a high-level meeting, a convention, of prominent mobile manufacturers and a showcase of new technologies from across the world. The event saw leading mega-sized communications and electronics companies all competed to showcase their business potential through a broad array of cutting-edge products. One of the manufacturers who caught public attention was Samsung, the Korean manufacturer of electrical appliances and digital equipment that have often become the world’s latest innovations. The company managed to once again shake the business circle with its presence in the automotive industry and the cool solution known as “Samsung Connect Auto”.
Samsung Connect Auto, Samsung’s latest Tizen-OS-based solution, is the mini-electronic equipment that plugs directly into a car’s OBD-II port (to be available in every car within the next two decades) underneath the steering wheel, thereby enabling the car owner as well as every passenger in the car to link up with the internet(availability of LTE data via Wi-Fi hotspot). What makes Samsung different from other service providers lies in the fact that the car owner/passengers can access the internet and data anywhere round the clock, as reflected in the company’s ‘Always On, Always Smart’ concept, whereas services offered by other service providers are terminated once the equipment is unplugged and when the users are at a distance exceeding what has been definedfrom the car.
Samsung Connect Auto offers multiple features including “Find My Car”, an application which can locate and report the condition of the car round the clock, “Virtual Mechanic” that keeps track and reminds the car user of the scheduled car maintenance and notifies him/her in case of emergency so that he/she can automatically connect with the contact list and/or insurance company.
Several additional major features being developed include journey logs that report on and help track expenses to be incurred on a business trip and “Driving Score”, an application that monitors and rates driving safety based on speed limit. The data obtained are simultaneously sent to the insurance company for consideration for future reduction of car insurance premiums, although the customer/application user can opt to release such data to any parties he/she sees fit. Of course, the matters regarding the customer’s right to personal data and privacy have been defined as challenges which Samsung has to take into consideration and handle with discretion just like in the cases of data obtained from mobile phones and/or other electronics equipment in the past.
For logistics provider, the feature worth keeping an eye on should definitely be the “Fuel Report Program”which optimizes fleet management through real time monitoring of an economical fuel use (fuel efficiency) by every vehicle in the fleet. Obtained data are automatically queued for analytics that catalyze energy solutions that minimizes fossil-fuel based air pollution and transportation costs through economical and efficient driving.
Experts have conducted studies and analyses and come up with the number of cars on the road in 2020 at 1.4 million. Of these, 30 percent (or approx. 450 million cars) will be internet connected, which means a huge business opportunity for Samsung as well as, definitely, its future rivals. Knowing full well that its expertise lies solely in the electronics business, Samsung has been compelled to find business partners with expertise in other fields so as to strengthen its potential and smoothly launch the technology in the market. Its business partners range from automobile manufacturers and insurance companies to even car maintenance network. It seems Samsung has entered into joint business ventures with such mega-sized partners as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Europcar. Samsung Connect Auto will definitely be launched in the U.S. in the second half of 2016.