The world is getting connected. Not so long ago things, parking meters, phones, cars, buses, etc. we’re standing alone doing their thing.
Then Machine to Machine arrived, where a thing would talk to another thing. The most common is probably the parts in your car, the remote key unlocking doors.
However, in the past 3 years there has been a rapid acceleration of connecting things to a central server at a hosted location via the internet connectivity, the thing is connected to the Cloud. This is the Internet of Things.
A parking meter that has number plate recognition and gets its tariff by accessing the cloud. A street parking meter that informs it’s cloud that it has an empty space that in turn provided the detail to an App on a phone helping needy drivers to find a space.
The bus that can inform the stops ahead of it where it is and how long it will be. A central system that can understand passenger loading so ensuring enough buses are on route.
My favourite , the removal of signals from the train rails as the trains are given intelligence and details of where they are and where the other trains are.
This last one will make for much safer trains. They will never hit each other, the signalling failure will never hinder flow, the fault will take a train out not a service. Additionally the service can provide more trains per time interval. In fact, companies like Rail Track will be a hosted cloud service providing access to tracks for the various train operators making for real competition.
Of course, at sometime cars will connect to the Internet and will know where all the other cars are … I wonder if we can improve traffic density and flow with such technology?