On 30 May IBM announced it is collaborating with Beijing TransWiseway Information Technology Co. Ltd. to build the largest connected vehicles platform in China that will transform the development of the country’s connected car services industry. The cloud-based platform will use advanced analytics for applications that offer real-time, in-vehicle services to mobile devices, such as weather advisories, traffic alerts and alternate route suggestions.

TransWiseway teamed with IBM to design an Internet of Vehicles (IoV) platform to connect millions of trucks as well as tens of millions of devices and sensors from vehicles. Using IBM Internet of Things technologies, the trucks and vehicles are connected to the Internet as well as with each other on this single IoV platform. Built in the cloud, the IoV platform applies analytics to data from mobile devices and sensor data, instantly turning them into valuable information that drivers and authorities can access via the Web or through a mobile app to improve decision making.

“We are committed to embracing mobile and other advanced technologies to spearhead an enterprise transformation, aimed at delivering enhanced services to satisfy the increasing customer demands in this age of mobility,” said Zhang Tong, general manager of TransWiseway. “This initiative is in line with the government’s objectives to improve the safety of its citizens, given the mandate that all truck companies be connected to an IoV platform in the future.”

TransWiseway selected IBM to extend its current, public IoV platform — part of the government’s traffic safety initiative implemented during Shanghai World Expo 2010 — which currently is connected with about 300,000 trucks in nine provinces. To build a commercially viable platform to deliver value added services more broadly to drivers and other third-party organizations, TransWiseway turned to IBM for its Internet of Things expertise, and ability to scale the current IoV platform while building in analytics and security capabilities to support millions of additional vehicles in the future. The new IoV platform is expected to connect with 1.5 million trucks next year and ultimately with 10 million in two to three years.

As part of the agreement, IBM will help build out the TransWiseway IoV platform with capabilities to connect millions of vehicles, sensors and mobile devices in real time with IBM MessageSight, part of the IBM MobileFirst portfolio.

In addition, TransWiseway and IBM China Development Labs will set up a joint innovation lab, where a team of developers and experts from TransWiseway and IBM will use the IBM MobileFirst application development portfolio, including IBM Worklight, to develop apps that deliver services — from transportation and fleet management to in-vehicle infotainment.

The IoV platform will also allow cloud-based access to analytics generated from sensor data to enable Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to use secure APIs to expedite the development of apps from concept to testing and development. This will include real-time traffic navigation, vehicle maintenance advisory and driver safety alerts, for example, that will allow truck companies to improve their operational efficiency and reduce cost.

For example, with the ability to correlate events such as poor road conditions, accidents or erratic driving behavior, the IBM technology can perform real-time analytics in the cloud to enable TransWiseway’s operating officers to warn drivers, based on their location, of impending danger with a warning signal sent to the driver’s mobile device. In case of accidents such as a car crash, rescue teams would be able to arrive at the scene much faster and issue travel advisories for other drivers as a safety precaution.