Telematics Wire, a media and market research firm in the domain of Vehicle Telematics, recently interviewed Aneesh Adkadkam, Head Automotive (Product Engineering Services), Embitel Technologies.
In this conversation, Aneesh shared details about the trends and challenges faced by Telematics and Remote Vehicle Diagnostics market.
One of the key challenges for an OEM to provide aftermarket support is the limited access they have to the vehicle. Any remote diagnostics or preventive vehicle maintenance is possible only when the vehicle is taken to the service station for a scheduled service or repair.
The error/fault code memory in electronic control units (ECU) helps to certain extent only when the vehicle is in service station, but the whole vehicle diagnosis and maintenance is constrained with lack access to vehicle parameters, limited expertise available in the service station and lack of knowledge of how the vehicle is used (driver behavior).
This is where automotive telematics and connectivity helps. An OEM is able to get real-time access to the vehicle.
This helps the OEM to drastically improve the aftermarket vehicle diagnosis and maintenance by providing alerts on potential problem, tips to correct wrong driver behavior, to improve mileage based on the usage pattern and remote support in case of on-road breakdown
The incremental cost of providing remote diagnostics is not huge. BOM cost of the device will be less than $50. There is an additional cost of setting up cloud-based IT infrastructure and services; however OEMs already have similar infrastructures that connect multiple service stations in place.
The preventive vehicle diagnostics and remote support will also reduce the cost of maintenance of the vehicle.
This particularly helps commercial vehicles market where the opportunity cost of a vehicle under service/repair is huge. In addition there is advantage of getting access to lot of data which can be monetized and this can reduce the overall cost.
Traditional automotive telematics is limited to access to vehicle location information and few other parameters like vehicle speed, engine data.
Connected Car technology helps in accessing a whole gamut of data.
This helps in fleet-management by reducing the cost of operations through preventive vehicle maintenance, remote vehicle diagnosis and support from OEM service team, reduction in fuel consumption, analyzing and correcting driver behavior
These cost advantages should trigger wide-spread adoption of telematics driven remote vehicle diagnostics.
For the OEM, the key parameter is to improve the customer satisfaction through better aftermarket support. The challenge is to make this available at low or no additional cost.
Advantage for the OEM is access to real time data which can be used for improving the product reliability.
Once the vehicle is on-road every vehicle acts as a test vehicle – any vehicle can be monitored for any parameter. This can help in product planning and design, improving the vehicle performance and reliability.
In addition the data can be used for other commercial purposes like targeted sales and marketing, customized insurance plans
Embitel has delivered multiple projects in this area. We have readily available reference design, which can be customized for remote diagnostics implementation and help in reducing the time-to-market.
The reference design includes device (VCI- Vehicle Communication Interface) to access vehicle parameters and DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes), connectivity over 3G/4G and Blutooth, GPS and cloud connected apps (Iphone and Android)
Our value proposition is our expertise across the entire value-chain of remote vehicle diagnostics from getting the data from the vehicle, making the data available to the cloud servers and application programming.
Embitel has extensive experience working with various control units like engine control units (ECU), body control units, ADAS, Chassis systems and this gives us a good domain knowledge on making these data available for remote diagnostics application.
We have worked on all the major technologies in vehicle networking and diagnostics like CAN, OBD, KWP2000, UDS, J1939 .This along with expertise on embedded technologies like GPS, 3G/4G module integration, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. helps us in providing connectivity solutions.
We also have a strong team working on cloud and mobile technologies, which creates webapps and smartphone apps for both business and consumers.
Health of the vehicle and subsystems will be a key concern in autonomous vehicles. This will call for real time monitoring of the vehicles for any safety issues and makes remote diagnostics mandatory for such vehicles.
It is NOW, as already some OEMs started offering connectivity solution and using this as a marketing tool especially in passenger car segment. OEMs are already working on various platforms to offer this and partial adoption is likely to happen quickly. Key challenges will be connectivity issues, legal aspects, privacy concerns and cyber security.
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