Cloud Computing In the Smart Automotive Industry

Kenny Kleinerman
Cloud Use CasesEdge Computing
03 Feb 2022

Cloud computing isn’t a new concept. Businesses in the software tech industry have been using cloud computing for software development and testing, data backup, disaster recovery, and more. However, the cloud is recently gaining more and more popularity in other industries as well, such as healthcare, insurance, education, retail, marketing, and automotive.

Automotive cloud computing in particular is evolving very fast ever since the introduction of connected vehicles, autonomous cars, and smart automotive features.

Automotive manufacturers around the world are now investing in cloud technology to improve the driving experience. Cloud technology in cars can help save lives by preventing accidents, and it allows cars to communicate with each other.

Additionally, smart cars can quickly adapt to changing road conditions and route the passage more quickly to the destination with the vehicle cloud. It won’t be wrong to say that cloud computing is becoming a must-have technology for modern and smart cars.

In this article, we’ll provide a thorough understanding of automotive cloud platforms, automotive cloud services, automotive IoT solutions, IoT use-cases in the automotive industry, automotive IoT platforms, and how Ridge Cloud is prepared to support the smart cars of the future!


Smart Automotive Cloud Solutions and Applications

An example of automotive cloud computing
Image source

Automotive cloud refers to any cloud platform that is specifically tailored to the automotive industry’s needs. With cloud computing in vehicles, cars can upgrade software without needing the owners to purchase a new model.

Some of the key cloud computing applications in the automotive industry include:

Connected Vehicles

A connected vehicle is a car, truck, bus, or any other vehicle that can connect to nearby devices over the internet. These vehicles are based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and they are capable of downloading software upgrades, accessing and sending data of the vehicle, and connecting passengers’ devices.

Connected vehicle technology enhances the driving experience by triggering critical communications and events. In other words, connected vehicle technology allows cars, buses, trucks, and other vehicles to communicate with each other and share key information regarding safety and mobility.

Since connected vehicles involve storing and sharing lots of data, such as data about the vehicle itself, the surroundings, other vehicles, they require a large data storage space—the cloud. With connected vehicle cloud platforms, drivers can get valuable insights into the vehicle status, safe driving distances, real-time traffic conditions, environmental changes, usage patterns, and more.


Autonomous Cars

An autonomous car also called a self-driving car, is a car that drives automatically by sensing its environment. Such cars don’t need any human intervention and instead use 360-degree cameras, sensors, and complex algorithms to drive. This technology is still evolving, but manufacturers hope to reduce accidents and traffic congestion as self-driving cars become more common on roads.

Cloud computing is now widely used in autonomous cars for better functionality. In fact, without automotive cloud solutions, autonomous car technology might not have been possible.

Why? Cars have tons of computer memory on-board. Autonomous cars are equipped with several radars, sensors, and cameras. This means autonomous cars need a lot of online storage and computing power, which the cloud can provide.

For autonomous cars, different components of traditional cloud computing are customized to tailor them to the specific requirements of autonomous vehicles.


Electric Vehicles

An electric vehicle (EV), as the name suggests, runs on electric power using electric motors instead of an internal combustion engine that requires fuel. Hence, EVs are more environmentally friendly. These cars initially used nickel-metal hydride or lead-acid batteries, but most EVs now have lithium-ion batteries as they are long-lasting and have great energy retaining capability.

EVs require smart charging stations to replenish batteries. These stations include cloud-connected sensors and computer processors that collect data to optimize energy distribution and consumption. The cloud is the best way to store such a large amount of data.


Cloud computing in cars also allows electric vehicles to exchange data with remote data centers to notify the driver about the conditions of the road and weather.


Benefits of Cloud in the Automotive Industry

Automotive cloud solutions offer several benefits:

Cost Savings

Cloud and software in the automotive industry help reduce costs. When you have all the IT hardware on-premise, you are responsible for its maintenance. And you also have to bear the costs of labor and power usage.

On the other hand, with the cloud, the cloud service provider provides all the hardware and is responsible for maintaining, monitoring, and updating the hardware.

Additionally, smart automotive cloud solutions use a pay-as-you-go or subscription model. This means you only pay for the resources and storage you use and can scale up or down as needed.

Large Storage Space

The automotive industry involves vast amounts of data, and when there is data, you need storage space to save it. When you store data on-premise, you need to buy expensive storage devices.

However, smart automotive cloud computing offers almost unlimited storage space where you can save a large volume of data. You can even increase storage space as your needs increase.


Better Autonomous Driving

Autonomous cars require sensors, radars, and cameras, which control and steer the vehicle automatically without a driver. Automotive cloud solutions support the continuous data flow of self-driving cars and provide uninterrupted network service. Hence, cloud platforms can improve the safety, efficiency, and security of self-driving cars.


Better Security and Reduced Risks

Data breaches are increasing day by day all around the world, which is a big concern for enterprises. When automotive manufacturers have on-premise infrastructure, they are responsible for keeping their valuable data secure from hackers and bad actors.

With cloud computing, the cloud service provider is responsible for safeguarding your data and protecting the systems. Compared to isolated on-premises data centers, the cloud comes with fewer risks of failures, data damage, and breakdowns. Professional cloud providers have several data backups, so your sensitive information is not lost if any sudden error or failure occurs.


Improved Collaboration

In the automotive sector, manufacturers need to communicate internally as well as externally with other manufacturers and distributors. Since different entities have different ways of business-to-business (B2B) communication, collaboration can be a bit difficult in the automotive industry.

However, with the cloud, all the different entities can collaborate on a single platform. With cloud-based collaborative tools, you don’t have to worry about building your own platform for collaboration.


Automotive IoT


How Are Cloud Computing and IoT Related in the Automotive Industry?

How cloud computing and IoT work
Image source

IoT (Internet of Things) is a system of interrelated physical devices and objects that are connected over the internet. The devices in IoT can transfer data over a wireless network without any human intervention.

IoT in the automotive market is now widely used for modern and smart cars. For example, a vehicle equipped with sensors that adapt and alert the driver when the tire pressure is low uses IoT technology. Additionally, IoT in the automotive market can also be used to unlock and start a vehicle using smartphones, monitor the car’s status in real-time, and send alerts when it needs a service.

Developers of Internet of Things applications and big tech projects rely on IoT cloud hosting to build stable IoT businesses and expand their operations seamlessly. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the many benefits of IoT cloud hosting, look for a service provider like Ridge that uses distributed computing technology.

If you want to learn about IoT and cloud computing in detail, check out our article on IoT and the cloud.

IoT Applications in the Automotive Industry

IoT technology allows the automotive industry to develop innovative and advanced systems and solutions, such as connected cars, navigation and telematics systems, Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) applications, and more.

Some of the key smart automotive IoT use-cases and applications include:

Fleet Management and Vehicle Tracking

IoT offers a number of benefits for fleet operators. With IoT and GPS tracking, you can get the real-time location and activity status of all vehicles in a fleet. This way, you can keep track of thousands of trucks and shipping containers, which is a huge benefit for companies who want to monitor their supply chain distribution.

The real-time location of vehicles also helps you with resource allocation, better planning, and quick adaptation to changing situations.

Vehicle tracking also allows companies to inform customers about the exact arrival time, monitor the behavior of the driver on the road to ensure compliance and safety, and minimize wait times at the destinations.

With IoT in automotive manufacturing, you can also get information on engine health, speed of the vehicle, tire pressure, and fuel utilization. You can even get alerts when the vehicle needs a service and stats regarding the driver’s performance.

Better Vehicle Security

With cameras and external sensors installed in the cars and other vehicles, owners can get real-time updates about their vehicles on their smartphones. This helps minimize vehicle theft because the owner will instantly get an alert about a forced entry. Additionally, you can also get recordings of a dent or scratch on the vehicle, which helps with insurance claims.

Self-driving and Connected Cars

IoT in automotive manufacturing
Image source


Cloud computing is now a must-have technology for self-driving and connected cars. Because such cars have large IoT data, they need cloud storage to store that data. For example, autonomous and connected cars share data from their sensors and cameras as well as parking detectors and traffic sensors using industrial IoT and automotive IoT.

Driver Health Check

IoT sensors in vehicles can be used to collect information regarding the physical and psychological conditions of the driver. For example, sensors can provide electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, and electroencephalogram (EEG) data. This information is especially helpful for detecting drunk driving and driving under the influence (DUI), which can be dangerous for passengers, drivers, and pedestrians.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the hybrid cloud in the automotive industry?

Hybrid cloud is a combination of on-premise clouds and private and public clouds. A hybrid cloud is a great solution for the automotive industry as it helps with better communication, easier tracking to ensure consistent quality of automotive parts, and better project management.

Why is automotive IoT security important?

IoT is now widely used in the smart automotive industry, especially in connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles. And since IoT involves the internet, there are always risks of cyberattacks. Hackers can not only steal data, but they can also find ways to get complete control over the vehicle. This is why it’s essential to choose automotive IoT security solutions that are secure by design.

What are some cloud computing and IoT applications in the automotive industry?

Some of the key smart automotive cloud computing applications and IoT applications in the automotive industry include connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles. These vehicles’ sensors, cameras, and radar collect and store data regarding the vehicle’s condition and location, road conditions, etc., which is done through IoT. And the cloud is used to store this large IoT data.

Linkedin Kenny Kleinerman, Head of Content | Ridge
As the Head of Content at Ridge, Kenny is in charge of navigating the tough subjects and bringing the Cloud down to Earth.