The connected car, as with other Internet of Things (IoT) applications, is about more than just vehicles communicating with other technology over a network.

It’s about capturing data to improve efficiency within the sharing economy and enabling aware, autonomous and connected vehicles to transform data into useful information. This fascinating concept has the potential to transform the way consumers and businesses access the shared vehicle space.

Here are three reasons why the time to capitalise on connected vehicles is now:

Urbanisation and the sharing economy

The Internet of Things is the convergence of technology advances and macro trends, like urbanisation. More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas; by 2050, that figure will be 70 per cent. As the population migrates to urban centres, problems like pollution and traffic congestion will increase. Consumers and organisations are sharing resources to avoid these issues, especially in the transportation industry.

Urbanisation places a massive amount of stress on transportation infrastructure. Sharing vehicles by leveraging connectivity and mobile applications will alleviate these pressures.

The sharing economy is a direct result of urbanisation. The advantage of having a large amount of resources in one area, and new technology facilitating on-demand access to these resources, allows for the sharing and monetisation of assets. This is one reason why, now more than ever, individuals and organisations need to share transportation modes. It only makes sense to capitalise on this trend.

Connected vehicles can be leveraged as a new line of revenue

Beyond responding to urbanisation concerns, connected vehicles are creating new business models for organisations large and small. From startups such as Lyft or Zipcar to enterprise companies with large vehicle fleets, connectivity can be used to lower costs or transform underutilised assets into profit centres.

For example, car rental companies and dealerships can enhance the user experience by allowing customers to skip the rental agent and rent cars using their smartphones. Enterprises can capitalise on unused transportation equipment or vehicles by making them available for on-demand use by outside parties.

Connected vehicles allow businesses to get the most out of their assets and improve customer experience while cutting costs. By enabling motor and asset pooling, enterprises can provide the same level of service and access to customers, but in a way that reduces costs and is sustainable.

As an added bonus, organisations can improve the safety of owned vehicles by capturing diagnostic data to provide predictive maintenance and fix a problem before it happens. This, of course, is collecting data and transforming it into useful information without human interaction. Gathering diagnostic data for predictive maintenance, capitalising on underutilised assets and on-demand rentals are all enabled by the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things empowers connectivity and new business models

To be considered a part of the Internet of Things, a platform must be aware, autonomous and actionable. The device must be responsive to the data it is collecting and be able to transform that data into information on its own, without human interaction. Leveraging connected vehicles to alleviate the stresses of urbanisation, to participate in the sharing economy and to capitalise on new business models would not be possible without IoT.

Think about it: connectivity is the foundation of the sharing economy which is a result of urbanisation and has created new lines of revenue for businesses and individuals. Sharing resources in a society demanding everything to be readily available quickly and efficiently is enabled by connected solutions.

The connected car has a bright future with huge potential for innovation. While assisted and autonomous vehicles are the endgame for this technology, there is work being done to ensure that assets, vehicles and components of infrastructure are talking to and aware of each other.

By: David Kim, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Verizon Enterprise Solutions