Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM to build Internet of Vehicles platform in China

Iain Morris
June 4, 2014
IT giant IBM is to work with China’s TransWiseway on the development of a connected vehicles platform that government authorities can use to improve traffic management and safety.

The two IT players are also to set up a new innovation lab in China that will develop apps for use with transportation and fleet-management services.

The so-called Internet of Vehicles (IoV) platform will be designed to connect millions of trucks and tens of millions of devices and vehicle sensors in China, using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies developed by IBM.

By next year, the companies aim to have connected around 1.5 million trucks to the platform, and they aim to support as many as ten million in the next two or three years.

IBM (Armonk, NY, USA) says the cloud-based platform will use advanced analytics to provide applications offering real-time, in-vehicle services to mobile devices, including weather advisories, traffic alerts and alternate route suggestions.

Using mobile apps, drivers as well as authorities will be able to access traffic information over the cloud and make more informed decisions about journey times and routes.

TransWiseway (Beijing, China) – which specializes in developing traffic-monitoring services – is working with IBM as part of the Chinese government’s traffic safety initiative, and says its existing IoV platform is currently being used with about 300,000 trucks in nine provinces.

The company says it needed IBM’s IoT expertise to build a commercially viable platform that would deliver value-added services more broadly to drivers and other third-party organizations.

“We are committed to embracing mobile and other advanced technologies to spearhead an enterprise transformation, aimed at delivering enhanced services to satisfy the increasing customer demands in this age of mobility,” said Zhang Tong, general manager of TransWiseway. “This initiative is in line with the government’s objectives to improve the safety of its citizens, given the mandate that all truck companies be connected to an IoV platform in the future.”

IBM says independent software vendors will be able to use the analytics generated by the IoV platform to speed up their own development of apps in areas like real-time traffic navigation, vehicle maintenance advisory and driver safety alerts.

By correlating information about road conditions with data on accidents or erratic driving behavior, says IBM, TransWiseway’s operating officers would be able to warn drivers of impending danger by sending warning signals to their mobile devices.

“We are proud to partner with TransWiseway on this important project to help meet its scalability and expansion goals,” said Ernie Hu, the vice president of the software group for IBM Greater China. “This effort targeted for improving in-vehicle services will make an important impact on the whole driving ecosystem in China and combining mobile and cloud technologies will drive innovation across the automotive industry.”

Besides collaborating on the IoV, IBM and TransWiseway will jointly operate a new innovation lab where developers and experts can make use of MobileFirst, IBM’s application development portfolio, to develop new transportation and fleet-management apps.
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