How do digital services based on connected car data contribute to sustainable mobility?

September 21st, 2022

Connected cars are essential to achieving sustainable mobility, and connected car data is an important fuel for making this transitional journey possible. Sustainable mobility is about much more than merely mitigating the CO₂ emissions of cars. Reducing emissions per vehicle is a common goal for car makers, with circular materials and renewable fuels often mentioned as key parts of the solution. But digital services and insights based on car data can also help reduce emissions throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle. This, in turn, contributes to both sustainable mobility and a more sustainable society at large.

Sustainable mobility means moving from reduced lifecycle emissions to looking at the bigger picture

Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is an organization that supplies the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards. These include three scopes that cover different kinds of direct and indirect sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Companies, NGO’s and government agencies can use these standards and scopes to measure their environmental impact, and set ambitious sustainability goals.

We have previously written about WirelessCar’s work with reducing emissions in scopes two and three: the operations of our solutions by means of renewable energy and increased efficiency, as well as the importance of understanding the climate impact of your car data. As connected cars grow in number, and produce more and more data, these factors are only becoming more and more important for car makers and digital service providers to consider.

Reducing emissions from the operations of your digital services is a start. Sustainable mobility, however, requires the automotive industry to work with both their value chain and their digital services. This so that they can reduce emissions during the lifecycle of the individual car, and in a larger societal context as well. This preferably both within their own organizations, and outside of them – such as by offering mobility solutions rather than cars. Connected car data presents many different opportunities to address this.

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7 ways in which digital services can help achieve sustainable mobility

  • Connected car data encourages and facilitates the adoption of electric cars
    Connected car data helps car makers address many of the most common concerns that drivers have about electric cars, including range anxiety, route planning, battery charging, access to charging infrastructure, and payment. If your digital services show drivers the benefits and the ease of renting or owning an electric car, it will be a major incentive to switch to electric cars, and specifically yours. If you, based on previous driver behavior, can suggest a suitable battery size, the threshold to get an electric car with optimized dimensions is lowered further.
  • Connected car data can help reduce emissions in operations
    In the production phase of a vehicle, data on usage and driver behavior could provide input for more optimized product development. Resources can be used more efficiently and emissions can be measured rather than estimated.
  • Proactive maintenance and vehicle health reports enable a prolonged lifespan
    The vehicle’s lifespan can also be prolonged, thereby increasing the efficiency of each car that is produced. One way of doing this is to offer proactive maintenance services to users/owners/renters. You may also offer reports on vehicle health that make buyers more inclined to buy your previously used cars.
  • Increased car utilization through efficient shared and sustainable mobility
    New patterns in terms of everything from work and commuting/travel to consumption mean that mobility will have to become even more flexible and accessible than it is today. Meanwhile, most cars remain parked for about 95% of their lifetimes.

    By knowing how when and much a car is actually used, and when and where and when car sharing and ride hailing services are the most popular, car makers can tap into that market. Shared mobility allows car makers to utilize their cars to the fullest, by making them easy for drivers to access without necessarily owning them. In addition to saving resources and meeting customers’ transport demands, shared mobility helps lower urban congestion, pollution, and greenhouse gas emission levels. Connected car data allows you to connect the dots of the shared mobility ecosystem, and to realize its full potential. Once autonomous cars are here, the potential to sell mobility rather than cars increases further still.

  • Increased car utilization through a wider usage range
    Knowing how the car is used helps show when and where the car can be used for other purposes, to avoid emissions. Users may receive deliveries in the trunk, for example, or use their electric cars as a back-up to a renewable power supply. Thanks to digital services based on driver behavior, the car can be more than a means of transportation.
  • Sustainable mobility is crucial to creating a sustainable society
    As mentioned above, many cities around the world face challenges related to congestion, emission levels, and insufficient space for infrastructure improvements. This at a time of increasing urbanization. Connected car data gives unique insights into urban traffic patterns, driver behavior, infrastructure vulnerabilities, and more. Analyzing this data will not only contribute to smarter, sustainable mobility, but better cities and communities for drivers and non-drivers alike. Productifying this in an attractive, reliable way can create new business value for car makers.
  • Driver behavior insights facilitate sustainable mobility and improve connected car services
    Connected car data can be used to encourage safer, more sustainable driver behavior, if you analyze usage patterns and nudge drivers towards it. Moreover, this data provides first-hand insight into how drivers use connected car services, and how these services can be enhanced and improved.

Doing the above creates business value based on smart digital services and optimized use of resources. It also leads to a reduction of energy consumption and emissions from transportation. Something that benefits society and facilitates the larger transition to green energy.

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What we do to facilitate and contribute to sustainable mobility

Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of  the future of mobility. Countries, cities and international legislative bodies will only place increasingly strict sustainability demands on the automotive industry. Likewise, drivers expect car makers to offer sustainable alternatives to both public transport and more energy-consuming cars. Although car makers are already doing a lot to address this, we believe that actively working with car data and digital services can bring even more value. The sooner one adapts to (and learns to benefit from) this reality, the more one stands to gain.

WirelessCar develops products and solutions aimed at meeting our customers’ sustainability challenges and opportunities. Looking forward, we aim to measure and evaluate these products and solutions’ impact and contributions, in order to show their efficiency, understand how to improve them further still, and how they can be used to reduce emissions. You can thus offer safe, smart, sustainable mobility through your connected cars, and make the most out of the car data they generate.

How can we help you make the most out of your connected car data? Want to know more about how connected car services can contribute to both sustainable mobility and new revenue streams? Or what data you can extract and how you can use it? We believe firmly in collaboration, so do not hesitate to reach out to me at elin.engkvist@wirelesscar.com. You can also read other, related articles on car data and sustainability here on our WirelessCar Insights blog.

Elin Engkvist
Head of Internal Communications & Sustainability