Make Sure You're Connected: The Car and the Internet of Things

Liz Slocum Jensen · April 27, 2015

Make Sure You're Connected: The Car and the Internet of Things Image
If you make sure you're connected
The writing's on the wall
But if your mind's neglected
Stumble you might fall, stumble you might fall
— Stereo MC’s, "Connected"

I was first introduced to the Internet of Things (IoT) a few years by my co-founder, Dave, after he had just attended meetup about the subject. He told me about a buoy in the ocean that could read water conditions and communicate with other buoys and parking dots that could sense a car’s presence. Around the same time, I read about contextual computing and I never looked at the world the same way. I was intrigued by the idea of things that we use everyday were connecting to the rest of the world. I was further interested in getting these things to working based on context instead of having to send a command each time.

The car is so integrated in our daily lives that we sometimes take it for granted. When we think of IoT, we should consider the entire connected ecosystems that benefit with more contextual status data. While making my desk lamp blink in different colors based on my car’s speed is a fun parlor trick, it’s not addressing inefficiencies or real world problems. For example, until self-driving cars are ubiquitous, we’ll all be dealing with distracted driving.

This is one of the reasons why Road Rules is interested in bringing the car into IoT. At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are driving distracted by using mobile phones or using electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. Road Rules is a service that enables you to set up automated rules that contextually trigger while driving. We’re using the sensors on the smartphone to connect the car to the rest of your connected lifestyle so that you can focus on driving instead of your phone.

Photo by Unsplash. Creative Commons Zero

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