Understanding the Rising Trends in Vehicular Telematics

  Jan 27, 2021 11:15:54 AM

In the vehicle ecosystem, Telematics has been present for quite some time now. It is used to collect data from the vehicle and sometimes push information to the vehicle as well. It can be classified into two broad categories based on the area of applications – telematics for passenger vehicles and telematics for commercial vehicles. The applications developed on telematics are based on the involvement of various stake holders – OEMs, Tier-1s, network operators, owners, drivers, Telematics Service Providers (TSPs), government agencies, insurance providers, etc. The applications of telematics and their respective stakeholders can be seen in the following table:

Area of Application Stakeholders
Vehicle Diagnostics OEMs, Tier-1s, owners
Fleet Management Fleet Owners, TSP, drivers, owners
Vehicle Maintenance OEMs, Service Dealers, owners
Emergency Support TSP, drivers, Govt. Agencies, Network Operators
Traffic\Road Conditions (V2X) Govt. Agencies, Navigation Providers
Vehicle Remote Control, EV Charging Owners, OEMs, drivers
Usability Features (Parking Locator, Smart Home) Owners, Network Providers
Connectivity All

Apart from the areas of applications mentioned above, there are numerous potential application areas such as Firmware/Software updates over-the-air (FOTA/SOTA) for almost all controllers in-vehicle and their connected applications. Therefore, most of the new application areas depend on high bandwidth and secure data connectivity. This data connectivity is used not only by a telematics unit, but also by the other controllers inside the vehicle. This business need therefore gives birth to some prominent trends in vehicle telematics such as:

Higher Bandwidth
Connectivity for telematics evolved over time with 2G, 3G, 4G and now with 5G. With vehicle transmission moving towards electric and OEMs pushing for autonomous use-cases, high bandwidth connectivity works as the enabler. This enables updates/information on real-time traffic, road conditions, accidents/obstructions, fleet operations, transmission of high-resolution images, and videos for autonomous car use cases, etc.

Smart Semiconductor
Semiconductors in mobile connectivity and telematics have become smarter than previous generations. Apart from providing improved connectivity, it facilitates running high compute applications in a secure environment. Traditionally, in a telematics system a modem is connected to a microcontroller over a UART, SPI or other similar interfaces. But in modern architecture these multiple pieces of semiconductors are merged into a single packaged NAD (network access device) with in-built multi-core processor to facilitate modern applications. TrustZone technology from ARM enables telematics systems to have isolated execution environments for trusted applications, secure boot, and storage. Hardware assisted crypto functionality enables telematics controllers to support encrypted data communication and storage.

Security and Safety
A modern telematics application is spread across multiple systems involving vehicle, cloud, and mobile applications. As telematics systems collect vehicle data and provide communication interface to other controllers in the vehicle, securing data and communication channels are important for cybersecurity. Telematics systems also provide emergency support during accidents, breakdowns, or other emergency situations. Telematics hardware and software design and implementation follows Functional Safety (ISO 26262) as well as Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) B and above to ensure safety while providing telematics services. A trusted execution environment enables safety critical applications to run in isolation to meet ASIL requirements, coupled with hardware assisted crypto and secure storage. 5G brings new features such as virtual network functions (VNF) where it allows to slice the overall available bandwidth into several isolated virtual network channels and make the communication safe and secure.

Applications from Cloud
Telematics applications are becoming complex and they are not just limited to vehicles anymore. The data from any vehicle is shared with multiple systems spread across other controllers in the vehicle, cloud application servers, mobile applications, and even to 3rd party services as well.

Let’s look at a use case of charging an electric vehicle. A user wants to charge the vehicle when the power tariff is lowest and should have the vehicle ready to drive with full charge in the morning. The user selects the option from his mobile app. The cloud end of that application tracks the power tariffs from an electricity service provider, detects current vehicle charge, calculates charging time, and effectively charges the vehicle. It also sends a report to the user regarding the power usage and approximate cost associated with the charging. This is just an example from hundreds of other such applications.

V2X and Road Safety
V2X is a newer standard where vehicles communicate with other vehicles, pedestrians, and roadside infrastructure in a secure way directly without the involvement of remote servers. There are two prominent standards – DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication) and C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle to Vehicle, Infrastructure, and Pedestrian) which are adopted in different geographies. This communication channel requires special hardware and will become a standard part of the telematics device in future. This is an integral part of the intelligent transportation system and a key enabler.

Sharing Vehicle Data
Data is a precious commodity and telematics data from vehicles is shared with different stakeholders and 3rd party organizations. Insurance providers, government organizations, city administrations, etc. are a few such organizations. This data is used to provide personalized service to the owner, real-time updates for maps, traffic, content from the internet and many other use cases.

These are just some of the major new trends which will steer the overall growth of telematics in near future. Learn more about Sasken’s expertise in enabling the delivery of state-of-the-art telematics and V2X solutions.

Posted by:
Shantanu Das
Senior Architect-AUTOSAR, Automotive Business, Sasken

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