iBeacons – Beacons in the Transportation Sector

with the increase in road accidents and reckless driving, the road safety work to raise awareness and promote the message that driving a vehicle and being on the road requires responsibility. With the new technology such as radar, accidents could be prevented even in instances where speed is the issue. The manufacturers across the globe are currently working on innovative automotive technology which can help to reduce the number of road-related accidents and can improve them.

What is a beacon?

The beacon is a small geolocation tag that provides more accurate information than the conventional GPS, especially indoors. The term iBeacon and beacon are often used interchangeably. iBeacon is the name of a technology, that mainly permits the mobile apps (iOS and Android devices) to comprehend the signals from physical beacons in their surroundings and can respond to them. Those physical beacons are small enough to easily attach to a wall or counter or to put in a car or a bag.

Beacon technology majorly operates on the on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) which further led to saving more power and ultra-wide band technology (UWB) resulting in high accuracy of the data. GPS is best for outdoors but for micro-location management, beacons are highly preferred.  The beacon can be installed anywhere and can even transmits over several tens of meters and can send information to smartphones that are close to the terminal equipped with a beacon.

What is the gain of using beacons for car dealers?

As the smartphone market is witnessing substantial growth across the globe. But the main interesting part is that we see that the number of purchases among those people who use their smartphone while shopping.

In this framework, beacon technology becomes significant. For the end users, the main utility of this technology is the ability to locate where GPS does not work, that is, indoors. But for traders, it’s completely a different aspect. Car dealers can take advantage of it to capture the attention of visitors while they are in their car dealership.

Certainly, beacons that transmit push notifications and send the targeted information to customers and prospects who will receive the offers without any effort while wandering in the car dealership. Beacons are mainly promotions vectors.  They enable the car dealer to send, such as dedicated digital coupons. With the use of beacons, they can also spot their most loyal customers’ visit by offering tailor-made advantages.

What is the future of transport with beacons?

The apps have already become crucial thing in day to day activity, as they are informing about the traffic situation on the most important streets. However, in many cases, the notifications arrive too late for you to react and you still get stuck in traffic. With the arrival of beacons this problem could be solved in the future: For instance, certain traffic lights or road signs included beacons, they could push real-time notifications on your smartphone about the upcoming traffic and alternative routes.

In the current scenario, there are also efforts to design and implement applications which help the visually impaired navigate around indoor and outdoor spaces, and keep track of their belongings in public. Those application primarily combines with the beacon technology with pathfinding services and transmit location information from a smart device to their hearing aid device, reading out alerts and visual cues for how to navigate to different locations.

There even is a use case for smart cars preferences. At the need, properly installed and connected beacons together with applications can improve the overall experience and safety of travellers and commuters both for the consumer as well as passengers.

– Priyanka Yadav
ICT Market Research Analyst
Infoholic Research