Car racing is a highly competitive sport. To win at it, you need fearless driving, high-performance racecars and top-notch technology to keep vehicles operating at their best. Race teams are constantly seeking the latest automotive innovation to gain competitive advantage. Such was the case for the ESBA Racing Team as it prepared to tackle one of the most demanding endurance racecourses in the world - the Nürburgring in Germany. The racing team turned to Globalmatix, a subsidiary of Softing AG, for a rugged IoT vehicle telematics system that was strong enough to keep its Porsche GT4 CS Cayman sports car going at full throttle for the duration of the punishing 6-hour race.
Vehicle telematics get smarter with Car2Cloud IoT connectivity
Vehicle telematics have been around for decades helping to diagnose engine issues, improve performance, manage maintenance schedules and optimize fleet vehicles. Globalmatix has taken telematics to the next level by teaming up with Gemalto, the global leader in digital security, to leverage IoT technology for next-generation Car2Cloud communications. The company’s disruptive Globalmatix TCU device (xTCU) allows automotive and fleet companies to “connect the unconnected” and efficiently manage mixed fleets from anywhere in the world. A closer look at the innovative solution reveals how it saved the day for the Porsche racing team.
Globalmatix and Gemalto: an end-to-end approach to secure IIoT telematics
The unique Globalmatix xTCU collects rich vehicle data from embedded sensors as well as directly from the CANbus system. The CANbus is an internal closed communications network that interconnects vehicle electronical components allowing them to interact with one another. The xTCU IoT telematics solution provides secure access to CANbus data allowing much greater visibility and tighter management of vehicle systems. It has passed rigid automotive penetration testing.
The Globalmatix solution uses Gemalto’s Cinterion ELS61 LTE Cat. 1 IoT Module and a Gemalto eSIM (embedded SIM) to enable Transport Layer Security (TLS) and secure IoT connectivity. The Gemalto connectivity solution leverages existing 4G cellular networks and provides seamless fallback to 3G and 2G networks for global reliability. Acting as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), Globalmatix provides cost-efficient mobile service as a native element of the xTCU solution. Together, these components ensure secure global cellular connectivity and data transmission to the cloud no matter where the vehicle travels.
The Gemalto eSIM allows Globalmatix to remotely provision cellular service (turn it on) for any local or global network without inserting a SIM card. It also encrypts and secures vehicle data while the Cinterion IoT Module sends it over cellular networks to the customer’s encrypted cloud. From there, strong authentication and analytics applications transform the data into intelligence that is used to make decisions in real time before engine failure occurs. Engineers and maintenance crews can access vehicle data from anywhere in world at real time, making sure the brightest minds are always on the job.
The ESBA race team took advantage of this feature to weigh in with an expert who helped their Porsche cross finish line at the Nürburgring.
Globalmatix and Gemalto: race tested, Nürburgring approved
Often referred to as “the green hell” (Grüne Hölle), the dangerous Nürburgring track is comprised of 21 kilometers of tricky corners, treacherous crests, steep inclines and constantly changing grades and road surfaces. The race put the Globalmatix xTCU to a very hard test monitoring the Porsche racecar as it operated at full throttle for six continuous hours. The solution performed flawlessly sending up to the moment vehicle diagnostic data under extreme conditions of mechanical stress, high-temperature ranges, vibration and speeds of up to 280 km/h.
After a minor crash left the Porsche inoperable on the side of the racecourse, the xTCU truly saved the day for the team! Maintenance technicians were able to remotely review engine data and determine that the car skidded off the track on its own coolant after a hose burst. The data also suggested the rear axis was damaged beyond repair and the car should be towed off the track. However, thanks to the xTCU and a racer’s determination, an expert engineer on the other side of the world was able to log on, review the data and confirm the vehicle was safe to drive the distance to the maintenance crew. It also allowed technicians to organize the necessary parts and plan for swift repairs before the car arrived back at the pit.
IoT telematics in the fast lane
The rigorous Nürburgring proved the Globalmatix xTCU to be robust, rugged and resilient, but it’s not just for high-performance racecars! The innovative xTCU is reliable in any automotive environment and for a variety of applications including fleet management solutions, pay-per-mile car insurance policies, vehicle tracking applications, driver safety systems and onboard infotainment. It’s even used to monitor and manage heavy equipment fleets, smart factories and automated systems.
Unlike any other solution of its kind, the xTCU serves as a flexible blueprint for OEMs to quickly launch telematics services that can support brand-mixed fleets and multiple service providers. Consider the case of a home healthcare fleet of vehicles, loaded with various medical equipment and devices with some vehicles being privately owned by outside specialists. The xTCU can work with any and all engine systems to connect disparate vehicles to the cloud where data is received and analyzed. This allows route optimization, service visit synchronization for simultaneous care from multiple technicians, vehicle safety checks, vehicle maintenance monitoring and more.
Increasing demand for a wide variety of telematics solutions is driving global telematics market growth at an estimated CAGR of 28.5% (2017-2022) with expected global revenue of 233.24 billion USD by 2022. Diagnostic fleet services hold the largest share of growth in the IIoT sector, though the digitization of this space is still in its infancy indicating a strong growth potential.
By combining traditional vehicle telematics with IoT connectivity, strong security and cost effective global MVNO cellular service, Globalmatix provides fleet managers with a unique solution that caters to brand-mixed fleets and different service providers supporting an efficient multi-vendor business strategy. The xTCU generates rich quality telematics data directly from a vehicle’s engine and uses Gemalto-enabled IoT connectivity to securely send it to the cloud where it is transformed into decisions that improve the overall management and maintenance of any car, van, truck or global vehicle fleet.
For 25 years, I’ve brought up a couple of MNOs and MVNOs and I’ve always worked with Gemalto for SIMs and eSIMs. Gemalto always qualified as a top quality partner for carrier-grade solutions. And this is one of the reasons why I came back and knocked on Gemalto’s doors to ask for support of our new company. Alois Widmann, CEO Globalmatix