Roman Semko: CarrIOTA’s vision of IoT Telematics

Original post
View story at

CarrIOTA’s groundbreaking work to create an integrated financial manager for complete households is just an intermediary step in a much bigger vision. The current development is to create a basis for multi-user multi-seed “wallet” manager that allows us to explore far more complex application scenarios in the future.

The rabbit hole is as deep as you want it to be

We are creating something similar to a wheel where no wheels existed before. This is just the first step and it is hard to imagine all the future applications the “wheel” will have: whether it will be a horse carriage or a mars rover using this wheel, the implications were barely known to the humble prehistoric inventor.

We are in a similar position with the current technological advancements. Only time will tell what implications these advancements might have. Our duty is to lay the first stone and pave the way for the future. The foundation for the world of tomorrow.

The speed of technological advancements is like a thickening fog that makes any future predictions harder and harder to make. Our visions are limited and no can surely say where we will be standing even in the next 12 month. These predictions are even harder to make in the crypto-space.

The Darwinian Theory also applies to technology

What we can do is plan several steps ahead and do our best to make these plans reality. The technological evolution, the natural selection of the most viable tech might or might not choose the path we envisioned. This is of little importance on a bigger scale. What matters is that we contributed to the vision of the world of tomorrow and it already makes the contribution worthwhile.

With this preamble, the following is the vision we have for CarrIOTA and the path that we are planning to take. The basis of the project will be published open source and it is of less importance to us, whether this basis will be used by competitors that are taking the same path. What matters most is that the seed is planted for tomorrow’s solutions.

The rise of telematics

The core developer team of CarrIOTA has been working for several years with a market leader in fleet management software. The Fleet Telematics System — or FTS — has become an indispensable tool in managing huge fleets of vehicles in logistics: from snow-plowings service and taxis, to entire bus companies, medical transports and even huge container ships.

The bigger the fleet, the more important role the management software has. While it might be easy to manage a small taxi company on paper or with Excel somewhere in a third-world country, more sophisticated tools are needed for bigger fleets for optimal resource management.

Using the fleet communications system (FCS) that usually runs as a web application, you communicate with your drivers, get real-time stats about your vehicle, check reports, manage users, clients, addresses and, most important, send orders to the vehicles.

The orders you send to the vehicle system (VS) is received by your driver who pilots the vehicle to the destination according to the order’s details: pick up something, bring something somewhere else, return to the HQ for maintenance, etc. There is still a human sitting between the VS and the vehicle’s wheel, who reacts to the orders received from FCS.

Human, the redundant component

The advances of automated driving will sooner or later make the driver useless. The dispatcher sitting in front of the FCS will be issuing orders directly to the vehicle. The vehicle itself will be an autonomous “thing” connected to the Internet. The telematics software will basically manage a fleet of IoT.

TOT: Telematics of things

Automation and financial decentralisation of things will require some sort of management software similar to the Fleet Telematics System for the vehicles. While the current FTS solutions can be adapted with relatively small effort to manage automated vehicles, what about other autonomous devices?

Starting with tiny things like the weather sensors and bikes for rent up to parking ticket vending machines or complete autonomous supermarkets — all this things might require a central supervision of the processes, especially the financial flows.

The autonomous supermarket is running low on Budweiser and decides that it has to pile up before the weekend. It sends an order request over IOTA’s tangle to the Supermarket Fleet Management System, together with the corresponding funds from its wallet. This ToT (Telematics of Things) Software takes care to forward the order to the cheapest supplier who just won the bid on a decentralised supply auction.

On another occasion, the fleet software predicts a rise of demand in gift wraps based on the sales reports from the past 5 years. The dispatcher issues an order to all the autonomous shops to pile up on gift wraps for the Christmas season.

This is just one example of thousands. You cannot manage the supermarkets “fleet” with the same software you use for the taxi company. But you can create a basis and the required infrastructure that can be easily extended depending on your use case. Maybe even managing dozens or hundreds of different types of devices — all from the same interface. Something similar to the SAP enterprise resource planning software.

And this is what we are planning to achieve in the future steps, using CarrIOTA as a basis for innovation.

IOTA as infrastructure

Comparable to the roads you need for your fleet to be able to transport goods, you need some kind of infrastructure to transfer orders, data and value between your fleet of devices. While the rise of trustless networks makes the direct value transfers possible, not all networks/blockchains are a good choice for IoT management.

IOTA is the most logical choice at this moment, given its inverse scalability and absolutely free transactions. While the project is still beta, it is hard to make absolutely certain predictions of its viability (due to the innovation fog described above). However, it is the best shot right now. Lightyears ahead of any other alternative.

CarrIOTA-like software as a basis for FCS

Using the IOTA’s infrastructure to communicate between your devices, we need some kind of software that has a permission-based user access and allows us to manage multiple devices at once: checking the stats, sending orders, making transactions.

What we are doing with CarrIOTA can be considered a first step of creating a multi-user system that manages multiple entities. The main focus right now is financial management of the entities: assigning wallets, making transactions, automated standing orders and direct debits.

The next step is integrating some kind of modularity. Where you can install modules for a certain type of devices, which allows you to communicate with those devices issuing specific orders or checking certain kind of stats. It’s like installing additional drivers on your Windows machine so that it knows how to handle certain hardware.

When this work is done, the device manufacturers can program their own modules for usage in ToT. Not just in the business environment, but also for the household.

Household manager is just a small-scale telematics software for things. A mini-ToT.

Imagine you buy an autonomous fridge. You install it’s “driver” on your CarrIOTA and now it “knows” how to issue commands like decreasing the temperature or issuing a purchase to the nearest supermarket — all over the tangle.

Whether small-scale manager or fleet solutions for thousands of devices, the basis can be the same. A generic operating system for connected “things”.

CarrIOTA is not a “wallet”. It is beyond.

Whether this vision is too ambitious, only time will tell. Most important thing is done. The seed is planted. Now we march towards the fog, one step at a time. And the future will be revealed before our eyes.

Thanks for reading!

Roman Semko