The Internet of Things Is Transforming the Travel Industry

May 15, 2019 - 7 minutes read

With its unparalleled ability to push, pull, and act upon data from the real world, the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought drastic improvements to many industries like agriculture and entertainment.

But unbeknownst to many, IoT development has also been quietly transforming another sector: Travel. Let’s take a look at four ways it’s doing this.

Smart Device Flight Check-Ins

In the last few years, smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home have taken the world by storm. And for good reason — these connected devices let you order pizzas, book taxis, record grocery lists, and more.

And now you can use them to check-in to your flight. United Airlines now lets passengers check-in via Alexa, Google Home, and the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch. You can also utilize the new feature to check on various factors like your flight’s status or the amenities available on your plane.

Advance online check-in services have been available for several years now. But this new check-in capability shows that smart assistants are here to stay; not only has consumer adoption of these products been accelerating, but now airlines are getting onboard.

As we all know, taking a trip or vacation can often be a stressful endeavor. Between remembering your bare essentials like toiletries and taking care of last-minute to-dos, most people would say they definitely need a vacation after this process alone! Thankfully, smart assistants now give consumers an all-in-one hub to get ready for liftoff.

Simplifying Car Rentals

Once travelers land at their destination, it’s normal for them to head over to a rental car outlet to get their hands on some temporary transportation. IoT offers immense potential to make this process more efficient. And car rental company Hertz is well aware of this — the organization is employing IoT to manage their fleets better.

Here’s how it works: Each renter receives a keyfob that’s paired with a reader behind their car’s windshield. This opens the car for the first time and enables the renter to get the car keys, which are in the ignition. From there, voice services in the cars allow renters to reach a centralized contact center to take care of any questions they have.

These new IoT capabilities let Hertz track their fleets and ensure customers have everything they need to hit the road. As a result, renting cars at any time (not just during business hours) has also become more viable. Hertz 24/7, a new service from the company, lets consumers rent cars by the hour with an accompanying mobile app. Getting where you need to go has never been easier.

Taking the Pain out of Parking

Finding a parking spot can be a painful time- and fuel-consuming task. And failure to do so can result in a variety of issues like missing your flight, parking too far away, or paying exorbitant amounts just to keep your car in a garage.

But no need to worry — IoT is here to take the pain out of parking. With IoT parking technology, consumers can now book parting spots in advance. Once they arrive in the area, they can then receive guidance on how to get to the spot’s exact location.

Parking lot managers also benefit from these new IoT abilities. With everything being monitored, they can now see metrics like peak usage times, the average quantity of cars entering and leaving during any given hour, when the garage is at capacity, and more.

Keeping Track of Lost Luggage

Have you ever arrived at your destination only to realize that your bags didn’t make the same trip? It’s a heart-wrenching and stress-inducing problem that happens to many travelers each year. And unfortunately, your only recourse is usually baggage claim workers who are also just as clueless about where your bags went.

Thanks to IoT-enabled luggage trackers, this problem is becoming a thing of the past. With a simple click, travelers can check an associated mobile app and let the luggage counter agent know that their bags were never actually placed on their connecting flight during their layover in Boston. This helps airline customer service expedite a solution by identifying a starting point to investigate where things went awry.

And if you want to take luggage monitoring a step further, you can! For almost $400, you can purchase a Louis Vuitton luggage tracker that notifies you when your bag is opened. IoT solutions like these luggage tracking capabilities put the power back in consumers’ hands so they no longer waste hours worrying about their bags and can concentrate more on enjoying the journey.

Connected Tech to Make Travel Easier

These examples highlight ways IoT is making it easier for every traveler to have a smoother, more enjoyable trip. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Numerous brands and companies are exploring new ways that IoT can simplify their processes and produce better results for their customers.

It’s safe to assume that travel will be even more transformed by IoT in a few years than it is now. With this being said, are you ready for adventure? Because IoT is making it much easier to connect you with where you need to go.

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