How Mobile IoT Solves Asset Tracking for the Automotive Industry

October 14, 2021

With emerging technologies such as IoT and now 5G, today’s automotive industry is reaching new heights of innovation and efficiency. Ever increasing expectations and demand are pressing companies to fill the gap in their existing operations with the implementation of Mobile (Cellular) IoT asset tracking. This will enable a greater range of use cases for Buy Here Pay Here dealers, auto finance dealers, car manufacturers, and other customers through secure location and insights derived from assets virtually anywhere they roam.

Here’s a few examples of how Mobile IoT asset tracking is transforming the automotive industry.

Why Does the Auto Industry Need Mobile IoT?

Until recently, the auto industry has predominantly used GPS, Wi-Fi and BLE as their go-to positioning technologies to track assets such as vehicles. Though these technologies pull their weight in most cases, they do leave significant blind spots. Using any one of these technologies comes with an inherent lack of visibility either indoors or outdoors, while an amalgamation of several results in high power consumption and cost. GPS can capture an accurate location outdoors, however does not fare well inside a structure wherever there is obstruction to a satellite – i.e. in a warehouse or a parking garage. Wi-Fi and BLE are traditional candidates for indoor asset positioning, though require additional, and often expensive, infrastructure to be installed, such as around the parameter of a car lot or factory.

Leveraging Mobile IoT, these asset tracking challenges can be largely thwarted. Mobile networks are ideal for providing connectivity for IoT devices, as these networks yield both indoor and outdoor coverage, less power consumption and lower costs, especially for the low bandwidth data needed for asset tracking. For example, Mobile IoT in combination with Polte’s cloud-based cellular location solutions can allow asset trackers to listen to signals from existing global cellular infrastructure and connect to a cloud system, offering users universal asset visibility indoors and outdoors. Built with a secure edge to cloud architecture, Polte positions Mobile IoT asset trackers by offloading computational complexity to the cloud rather than leaving on the device.

With 5G, a further densification of cell towers will enhance Mobile IoT’s ability for higher resolution and improved placement of vehicles and equipment. Mobile IoT asset tracking consequently gives rise to various advantages for the auto industry, such as reduced operational costs, streamlined systems, and faster response times.

Use Cases

Buy Here Pay Here

In the “Buy Here Pay Here” market, finance companies extend credit to customers who get turned away from other conventional car buying means. This business of financing carries an increased percentage of risk in the form of losing an asset and associated profits if the customer falls behind on payments, defaults, or skips town. With Mobile IoT technology, users can possess 100% visibility of their inventory, whether found indoors or outdoors. If a customer decides to go AWOL and hide a leased car in an underground lot, companies will still know the precise location of the asset. Through less required hardware for full visibility, quick scanning and LTE power optimization features, battery life is extended with Cellular IoT devices compared to other location solutions. This minimizes the risk of a vehicle staying lost for a long period of time.

Locating on Dealership Lots

Attempting to find a car in a dealership lot that is five acres plus is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Some cars stored in lots aren’t even finished products – car manufacturers take advantage of the free space and stockpile cars that are halfway through the factory process. Maneuvering through a maze such as these lots becomes time consuming and costly. By implementing Mobile IoT devices and attaching them to individual cars, companies will have the ability to recover cars much more quickly.

Factory Management

Asset tracking in a confined space poses a variety of difficulties to automotive manufacturers, especially when the assets are indoors. In a factory that has its own private 5G network, manufacturers can place a Mobile IoT device inside the vehicle’s shell, benefiting from precision positioning of the vehicle all the way through the production line up to and beyond its drive to the lot to await distribution.

Additionally, in a manufacturing campus environment, the use of autonomous vehicles will be ever more present, increasing the need for 5G Precise Positioning to assist in tracking or directing them.

In use cases where Mobile IoT alone will not suffice for accuracy or environmental requirements, it can simply enhance other location technologies in hybrid solutions – offering better coverage, lower cost, longer battery life, and higher security than if merely using something like GPS, Wi-Fi, or BLE.​

As we have seen, the automotive industry is yet another sector to reap the benefits of using Cellular IoT technology for asset tracking. It enables more complete visibility of the product whether it’s moving through a factory floor and along the supply chain or being positioned from a static location. Assets can be tracked at a more granular level and the capabilities will increase exponentially as 5G continues into the fray.

For more blogs like “How Mobile IoT Solves Asset Tracking for the Automotive Industry,” keep checking our Blogs page here. To learn more about how Polte can leverage 4G/5G cellular networks to track what’s most important to you indoors and out around the world, send us a form here.

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