How IaaS helps develop a car market

    The emergence of self-driving cars and the development of car sharing in just a few years has transformed the automotive industry and the passenger transportation market. Many services quickly showed results and captured a significant share of this market due to the active use of virtual infrastructure . More about this under the cut. / photo Stròlic Furlàn CC BY-ND

    Promotes the development of car sharing services

    There are three main types of car sharing services: car rental (ZipCar, BelkaCar), variations of private carriage (Uber, Yandex.Taxi, Blablacar) and trips without a driver. All three types combine incredible demand growth. According to the forecast of ABI Research, by 2030, 650 million people will use such services.

    The first attempts to create car sharing services were made back in 1948 in Zurich, but due to the lack of scalable control systems and customer access to transport, the project did not take root. However, the development of IT technology and GPS navigation has led to the rapid development of the market. In 2015, 7 million people have already used car sharing worldwide, and according to a study Deloitte until 2020, the annual growth rate of this market will be 32%.
    IaaS play an important role in this development. From the first days of its existence, the BelkaCar service involved cloud infrastructure due to the possibility of operational scaling. It was difficult for the service to forecast the volume of loads in the new market, and already in the first year of the company’s work it was supposed to increase the number of fleets from 100 to 500.
    A similar situation occurred with Bulweria, a company developing a universal platform for car sharing (CUP). The platform is deployed in more than 25 countries. Using virtual infrastructure, the company was able to process data from hundreds of machines and quickly scale the platform within a couple of months.

    Domenico Mangiacapra, Business Development Director at Bulweria, said: “The car sharing market has exploded. Managing a huge fleet of cars without cloud technology was unrealistic. For every thousand dollars spent on the cloud, we would have to spend several times more if we used the old approaches. "

    Another advantage of IaaS is the ability to encapsulate or isolate services within the company. At the launch stage, BelkaCar part of the services in PHPused to solve trivial problems. For working with sockets - Python and NodeJS, the main database is PostgreSQL 9.5, and for raw data - MongoDB. The cloud makes it easy to maintain such a distributed system with the ability to quickly increase the performance of an individual service during the day.

    Used in security systems

    Driving a car is still the second most dangerous method of transportation after a motorcycle. In this regard, there are more and more services designed to ensure driving safety. One example of such a solution is the PotHole Alert technology developed by Land Rover. The technology allows you to scan roads for pits, potholes, open hatches, as well as warn drivers about dangerous areas. Land Rover plans to use cloud technology in order to transmit information about the imminent danger to other drivers, as well as generate road maps taking into account hazardous areas.

    Another way to increase safety is to make timely diagnostics. An example of a service is MECH5. Using the OEM protocol, the service collects data about the state of the car, detects malfunctions, and also creates reports on vehicle health in the X-LInk cloud application interface. IaaS infrastructure allows the service to work in real time, and find the nearest car services for troubleshooting.

    Actively uses IaaS technology in its work and industry giant General Motors (GM). In 2013, GM  spent $ 130 million to create its own cloud center to support the company's operations. Cloud enabledGM conduct virtual crash test simulations, each time saving 350 thousand dollars on such tests with real machines.

    / photo OurWorld2.0 CC BY

    Helps streamline car dealerships

    Analysts from the consulting agency Frost & Sullivan say that in the next 10-15 years, the car market will change dramatically. More than 70% of car sales will be via the Internet, and dealers and manufacturers will invest up to $ 5 billion in computerizing the sales process. Competition in the market that has existed since the 1860s forces them to use any technology that allows them to gain a competitive advantage. One such technology is IaaS.
    Since 2011, one of the largest St. Petersburg automobile holdings Terra-auto transferred its infrastructure to the cloud: critical services, customer service, terminals, databases and servers.

    The advantage of cloud outsourcing is the ability to scale services at the right time, given the seasonality of the car sales market. IaaS also allows the company to easily implement projects with an ever-increasing number of participants, for example, support programs for novice motorists or large families.
    Cloud technology helps keep the software on the machines up to date. For example, Ford uses cloud services to solve this problem. The cloud allows you to update the navigation, communication and entertainment systems of the car in the background, without the need for owner intervention. The update applies to released products up to 10 years old, which increases the value of such machines in the secondary market.

    What's next

    Self-driving cars are already becoming a part of our lives. In early 2016, General Motors, in collaboration with Lyft, presented a test project for autonomous cars in Texas, and in the middle of that year, nuTonomy launched a similar experiment in Singapore. Moreover, by 2020, nuTonomy plans to expand its activities to another 9 cities in America, Asia, and Europe.

    According to experts from McKinsey, self-driving cars will be able to save up to 30 thousand lives annually. Such cars can be used both in the private sector and in the industrial transportation sector. Cloud technology will allow you to quickly download current routes and traffic information. The most important breakthrough will bethe ability of cars to interact with each other through the cloud. This will lead to the formation of a safe transport ecosystem, which will have the ability to self-regulation, prediction of traffic conditions and traffic jams.

    Another trend is the development of open source systems for cars. So, General Motors released the NGI SDK, which allows third-party developers to run and test their car apps. For such initiatives, IaaS acts as a platform and environment for developers to interact with the manufacturer, contributing to an open process of optimization and improving the security of automotive applications.

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