What self-driving cars have to do with the Cloud?
The next big thing in the world of technology is Internet of Things (IoT). This is a technology that enables the smooth flow of data and communication across ordinary devices like your alarm clocks, refrigerators, cars and more. In fact, self-driving cars are becoming a reality sooner than we think is possible, and much of this has to do with advancements made in cloud and IoT.
So, what’s the connection between cloud and IoT?
Simply put, cloud infrastructure is the base technology that’s driving IoT including self-driving cars. All devices that want to communicate with each other need a common place to store and access data, and this is what cloud infrastructure provides. Regardless of the nature of the device and the function it performs, it can access and store data in the cloud.
This easy accessibility to data is what makes communication possible in the first place. For example, let’s say, your refrigerator has to monitor the level of available milk, and if it goes below a threshold, it has to automatically order it for you by communication with the app on your smartphone. In addition, this data has to be stored for analysis, so you know how often you’re buying milk and how much you’re spending on it.
All this communication and data exchange happens through the cloud infrastructure. Likewise, your wearable and self-driving cars also need cloud infrastructure to communicate across devices.
For now, we’ve established that cloud infrastructure is essential for self-driving cars and IoT in general. The next question is how we can extract value from it.
This depends on the way a company plans to monetize its infrastructure. Let’s take another example here. We have self-driving cars that are connected to a smartphone. As you drive through a shop, you get a notification that a list of items in that shop are on sale. You may want to stop and check it out or even buy from it. When this sale happens, the car company will get a commission on the sale value.
With such a strategy, the car company is able to get more value for its infrastructure than merely just stopping after a sale is done. In this sense, cloud is likely to create a continuous stream of revenue for the company. The above example is just one way of monetizing the cloud. If you think through and look closely, the options are endless as your cars can act as a central place of communication for the many activities you do.
In fact, these benefits are not just limited to the car manufacturer alone. The economic benefits can flow across different organizations operating across different sectors. In the above case, the economic benefits will accrue to the store, its suppliers and more. Overall, it can change the way we think and buy different commodities, and over time, the economic benefits will add up.
However, the underlying driver of this change is cloud infrastructure and this is why it is essential for self-driving cars.