Automobile manufacturers started offering embedded vehicle connectivity almost a quarter of a century ago as a niche safety and security offering for premium vehicles. This year, 30 million vehicles will be sold with embedded connectivity supporting an array of customer services including navigation, remote access, marketplace shopping, and infotainment. Now, OEMs are looking at automotive data logging for connected vehicle value creation beyond traditional sources of revenue like subscription and data sales.
Every industry is using data to make better decisions and the auto industry is no different. Connected vehicle data provides OEMs deep and precise insights into how their products are performing and being used. If used appropriately, connected vehicle data can provide a major competitive advantage for OEMS to improve quality, manufacturing and design and save 100’s of millions of dollars every year.
Until now, vehicle data logging was seen as an added feature of connected vehicles. Before, data collection was a fixed number of data elements gathered and sent at the regular interval to the OEMs data warehouse. Now, OEMs must move away from the feature mindset and start thinking about Smart Data Logging as a critical technology enabler to avoid lagging in the competition. If OEMs invest in Smart Data Logging, they can maximize their return on investment in connected vehicle technology and avoid setbacks of collecting the wrong data, being overwhelmed by too much data, or having insufficient data.
Smart Data Logging
Smart Data Logging encompasses the entire process of monitoring and recording information on the vehicle with contextual precision to get an accurate representation of the characteristic in question. It is robust and flexible because it enables stakeholders to remotely program vehicles to capture data elements, perform logging analysis and then send only the relevant information needed for decision making.
A common challenge with excessive data logging in connected vehicles is the high wireless costs of moving large amounts of data for a large fleet of vehicles. A single unit could easily collect over 1TB of data every day. Most vehicle data is repetitive and doesn’t provide much value. The question then becomes so why should an OEM spend the resources collecting and storing data if most of it is irrelevant?
With Smart Data Logging, organizations can have the best of both worlds with access to all data from the vehicle, but only logging, storing, analysing and sending the data that is relevant for actionable insights. This precision allows OEMs to not just log data, but log the right data. By selecting and reducing the data to only what is necessary and relevant, OEMs can better support their teams, and efficiently control data transmission and costs.
When logging vehicle data, depending on the business needs, abnormal data events are more valuable than normal day to day occurrences. If you have access to the RPM and speed of a unit at any given time, with data logging you could log every single drive that occurs. However, you don’t need that data unless something important happens on that drive, like an engine misfire or abnormal battery conditions. With Smart Data Logging, you could monitor the RPM and speed of the vehicle all the time, analyze the data but only record and send the details of an abnormal occurrence, significantly decreasing overall operational costs.
Principles of Smart Data Logging Systems
A smart vehicle data logging system encompasses all of these core attributes:
1. Access to every signal or message on the vehicle, including camera images
2. Remote configuration to
- Capture specific messages and internal ECU memory
- Process and analyze the information
- Have a rule based engine for data transmission (send now vs at the end of the trip, etc) and data transmission protocols (MQTT, TCP/IP, UDP)
- Perform multiple and independent data collection tasks
- Target individual or vehicle fleets
3. Back-office data storage that allows stakeholders or third parties to have easy and real-time access through contextually meaningful APIs
Managing a Smart Data Logging System
Access to Smart Data Logging information across an organization is ideal, since varying stakeholders are likely to need differing types of data collected. It is highly advantageous to have a centralized group staffed by Vehicle Data Engineers to manage Smart Data Logging for the organization. This centralized team could manage information requests from Design, Manufacturing, Operations and Marketing to communicate how vehicles are performing and how customers are using their vehicles. This gives stakeholders contextual understanding of the information and allows for quick development of tools and dashboards very specific to their needs.
Examples of Smart Data Logging in the Automotive Industry
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are an example of a data intensive feature that is quickly becoming standard across all vehicles and trim levels. For these highly automated and safety critical features, the demand for testing and validation is very high. OEMs must be able to analyze the data collected to monitor how these systems are performing with real customers across all types of driving conditions; improvements to existing and future ADAS systems can only be made if the production system performance is sufficiently understood. For example, measuring the percentage of false positives or false negatives and the circumstances that led to the failure is critical for improvements to future designs. Smart Data Logging streamlines the process of analyzing all of the critical data needed to assess current systems and make improvements.
Adaptive Cruise Control
There are also opportunities still with internal combustion engines still. Usage of Adaptive Cruise Control has shown to reduce the CO2 emissions compared to normal customer driving habits. By using Smart Data Logging an OEM is able to measure by customer how often and how long the Adaptive Cruise Control has been engaged. Similarly, OEMs are able to measure the frequency of the Auto Start/Stop feature on vehicles. The data collected from both of these features not only can lead to improvements for future designs based on performance and usage but also help OEMs collect additional EPA credits.
Feature Usage Monitoring
Another important usage of Smart Data Logging is to really understand how products are being used or not being used. As vehicles continue to have new features added, OEMs struggle with educating customers about their usage and in some cases, discovering they even exist. Connected Infotainment systems now provide an abundance of features from downloadable applications, satellite radio, Android Auto, Car Play and Bluetooth streaming, to name a few. A recent example of a newer feature is automatic lift gates in sport utility vehicles. There are usually multiple ways to control the lift gate and some OEMs advertise the feature of using your foot near a sensor to raise the lift gate when your hands are full. Using Smart Data Logging, OEMs can precisely measure not only how often features are being used, but also how they are exercising control over those systems. Using precise data OEMs can make intelligent and informed decisions regarding “reductive design,” and make intelligent decisions for features and UX design, resulting in cost savings.
Usually the highest and most problematic warranty issue for any OEM is the 12V battery. The challenge with 12V battery failures isn’t that the battery fails due to design or manufacturing defect, but because of an ECU that is not performing correctly and is drawing excessive current, especially after the ignition is turned off. There are other issues that can affect the 12V battery, like customer usage of the vehicle’s battery without the ignition running or an excessive number of short trips in which the 12V battery doesn’t have sufficient time to recharge. All of these examples of excessive strain on the 12V battery can be measured with Smart Data Logging and once the problem is identified and understood then and only then can OEMs get to work on how to correct the problem.
For the past 120 years, the auto industry has relied on the lengthy dealership warranty process to garner feedback on how their product is performing. We’re able to see successful applications of Smart Data Logging in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry, where OEMs with these systems in place for their EV fleets have instantaneous feedback. The ability to understand usage patterns and high voltage battery performance in real time has allowed those OEMs to continue to enhance design and improve quality ahead of the competition. If OEMs across the board can implement Smart Data Logging, they too can reap the same benefits.
Sibros Deep Logger
The Sibros Deep Logger solution is becoming the recognized industry benchmark for Smart Data Logging with a client and back-office plug-and-play solution compatible with every vehicle electrical architecture. The Deep Logger platform has been uniquely designed to capture, analyze and transmit only the information necessary for OEMs to make informed decisions about vehicle performance and usage. Additionally, the approach has chartered a new course for OEMs to apply Lean Innovation to test new revenue streams based on vehicle data.
Sibros’ Connected Vehicle Platform enables OEMs to maximize the return on investment with embedded vehicle connectivity. The team at Sibros has helped companies save hundreds of millions of dollars yearly through early detection and containment of quality issues, manufacturing supply chain tooling, avoiding recalls and reductive design initiatives.