17. February 2015

Important step on the way to a fully connected vehicle

FEV expands vehicle functions by targeted cloud integration in the joint project OSCAR

The car as a mobile sensor and multimedia platform: FEV and its development partners have created a cloud structure for vehicles within the government subsidized project OSCAR that allows drivers and fleet operators gain access to important planning data and additional functions (Source: FEV GmbH).

Car2X communication in project OSCAR: The continuous data exchange between the cloud and the vehicle allows collection and processing of vehicle parameters. Vehicles from FEV’s electric fleet were used as test vehicles (Source: FEV GmbH).

Aachen, February 18, 2015 – Adding functionality through apps, optimizing workshop services, and creating range forecasts for electric vehicles: FEV GmbH and its partners have targeted these and other goals in a joint project, named OSCAR (Open Service Cloud for the Smart Car). FEV is cooperating with leading research and development partners on this project, among them the Technical University of Aachen, Fritz Dräxlmaier GmbH & Co. KG, Hans Hess Autoteile GmbH, QSC AG, regio iT aachen GmbH, and the electric vehicle manufacturer StreetScooter GmbH. Modular information and communication technology structures have been developed to integrate FEV and Street Scooter provided vehicles into a cloud. "Continuous data exchange between the cloud and the vehicle allows the collection and processing of vehicle parameters," explains Professor Stefan Pischinger, President and CEO of FEV Group. Private users benefit from additional features like very accurate range determination, information on traffic slow-downs or potentially critical traffic situations as well as localized climatic conditions. The cloud connection being developed will offer special benefits for fleet operators: "Digital data can offer information on position, operating state and battery state for fleet management” explains FEV’s Professor Günter Feyerl, “In addition, they allow preliminary diagnoses and an improved coordination of maintenance schedules."

Use of a vehicle as a mobile sensor and multimedia platform is no longer a vision of the future. Today there are a number of projects in which networked vehicles collect data on driving, traffic and environmental conditions and share and make available that data via Car2Car and Car2X communication.

Fundamentals of the project
The goal of the OSCAR project is to integrate the electric vehicle into a cloud structure by building a modular information structure and communication technology (ICT). FEV's iCU (intelligent Connection Unit) development platform is integrated into the vehicle and has access to the data stream of the vehicle's onboard network. The data collected via CAN bus and a GPS system can be sent to the cloud via a UMTS interface from the vehicle. In addition, they can be received again by the sending vehicle or other connected vehicles after a service-oriented analysis in the cloud. This creates a bi-directional communication path.

Development with sustainable utilization potential
Data formats can be adapted to various project and server requirements via the iCU, representing an excellent foundation for future volume production development. With only one vehicle, a wide variety of different OEM vehicles can be simulated or, alternatively, the data formats of various vehicles can be translated into the same cloud data structure. The cloud vehicle connection allows for other future services such as the installation of specific vehicle apps or the use of conventional apps for mobile devices. This is made possible by the FEV-iCU. The data can be accessed on commercial smartphones or tablets directly in the vehicle via Bluetooth or local WLAN. To send the right data to the correct addresses in the cloud structure, an FEV-developed AES (Automotive Embedded Service) server collects the transmitting vehicle data and decides according to defined filtering rules that determine which information from the vehicle should be forwarded to particular addresses. "Within the framework of the OSCAR project, we developed a new, open and manufacturer-independent ICT architecture for electric vehicles and have intensively tested it in the Aachen region under real life scenarios," explains FEV’s Dr. Stefan Müller-Schneiders. The project partners also established a DIN Spec (91324), a data set for an open service cloud, which can be used for OEM and third party services.

Important data for drivers ...
Vehicle users can retrieve current vehicle data as well as statistics for their own usage history through the effective combination of cloud data and apps that are operated via the vehicle display (HMI). As a result drivers can, for example, plan their route continuously, based on traffic information, the reach area and on the altitude. In addition to real time data such as battery state and energy consumption of various systems, data comparison with the cloud data allows optimization of one's own driving behavior. Driving profile and fuel consumption for different drivers can be compared and optimization potentials can be identified.

... and fleet operators
Fleet operators will particularly benefit from improved diagnostic capabilities on their electric vehicles: The operator not only gains insight into vehicle parameters such as position, operating condition and battery or charging state; even error codes can be read via the cloud. Safe and limited access to such sensitive data improves the coordination options for maintenance schedules and allows for preliminary diagnosis by authorized parties.

About Oscar
The project OSCAR which is subsidized by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is led by a consortium of FEV GmbH, Forschungsinstitut für Rationalisierung (FIR) e. V. - RWTH Aachen, Fritz Dräxlmaier GmbH & Co. KG, Hans Hess Autoteile GmbH, QSC AG, regio iT gesellschaft für informationstechnologie mbH, SE Software Engineering – Technical University of Aachen and StreetScooter GmbH. The advisory board consists of leading OEMs and suppliers, e. g. Continental AG, PSI AG, Kirchhoff Automotive, TRW Automotive und the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). OSCAR's goal is to transfer the Aachen modular design principle for electric vehicles to the information and communications technology (IKT) as well as the electrics and electronics (IKTEE) architecture.

About FEV
The FEV Group with headquarters in Aachen, Germany, is an internationally recognized development service provider for drive and vehicle technologies. The company offers its global transport industry customers a complete range of engineering services, providing support in the design, analysis and prototyping for powertrain and transmission development, as well as vehicle integration, calibration and homologation for advanced internal combustion gasoline-, diesel-, and alternative-fuelled powertrains. FEV's competencies also include design, development and prototyping of innovative vehicle concepts, powertrain electronic control systems and hybrid-electric engine concepts that address future emission and fuel economy standards. The Test Systems division is a global supplier of advanced test cell, instrumentation and test equipment. The FEV Group employs a staff of over 3,200 highly skilled specialists at advanced technical centres on three continents.