Continental & Carnegie Tech Make Connected Car Connections

Continental launched its Remote Vehicle Data (RVD) platform and is partnering with Carnegie Technologies for a connected car smart telematics platform. The company is now able to deliver over-the-air updates across the globe through a single network using Inmarsat’s network. RVD is fully integrated into Continental’s modular cloud approach for connected service solutions.

Remote Vehicle Data

Continental’s modular cloud approach can serve customer use cases in the most flexible way, ranging from data access thanks to the RVD solution to additional modules like data analysis and connected services via Continental’s vAnalytics service platform. There is a wide range of services on offer, including customer relationship management, geolocation, geofencing, remote vehicle access, diagnostics and fleet management.

The German car workshop supplier and spare parts distributor Matthies uses the complete platform to provide workshops with a turn-key solution for connected customer services.

Offering different retrofit hardware options, e.g. a Bluetooth OBD-II dongle, Continental’s Remote Vehicle Data solution targets the millions of cars in the field which are not yet connected. The solution provides in-depth access to vehicle data by standardizing manufacturer-specific vehicle information across a wide variety of models and brands.

The full end-to-end connected vehicle solution provides:

  • a cloud-hosted platform, fully scalable and capable of handling millions of connected vehicles,
  • device, license and update management,
  • a comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK) and powerful APIs to enable many applications,
  • out-of-the-box or customized services to suit business needs

Potential customers of the connected vehicle cloud solution are OEMs, workshops, fleet operators, repair shops, insurance companies, rental car and car sharing providers, and many more besides. They can implement innovative connected services based on vehicle data, such as special offers on upcoming service requirements and customized insurance tariffs, or make the work of car rental companies more efficient

Carnegie Connections

Continental has partnered with wireless connectivity provider Carnegie Technologies to ensure that vehicle manufacturers and drivers can always make use of the fastest, most reliable network connection available to the automobile.

Bridging connectivity gaps

Under the agreement, Continental is reselling Carnegie Technologies’ Network Convergence Platform and integrating it into Continental’s Smart Telematics solution for vehicle manufacturers. The solution runs on Continental’s next generation telematics control unit (TCU) with a supporting cloud-based component for analytics and diagnostics.

As vehicles move along the roadways, this technology provides bandwidth aggregation and gapless handover of calls and data for faster speeds and seamless switching between different networks such as Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G and satellite. These capabilities are essential for new data-intensive applications including automated driving and over-the-air vehicle updates. In addition to terrestrial networks, Continental is developing over-the-air updates using satellite communication together with the mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat. By using Inmarsat’s global satellite network, Continental enables its customers to remotely update vehicles anywhere in the world, allowing them to easily run global update campaigns without the complexity of dealing with multiple mobile network operators.

Carnegie’s intelligent software solution, which is now part of Continental’s Smart Telematics portfolio, continuously scans and measures available networks and the vehicle’s bandwidth requirements and automatically aggregates the networks to provide the fastest, most reliable and cost-efficient connection. Additionally, it includes VehicleLink, which uses in-vehicle bandwidth or external Wi-Fi when available from devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops to manage data costs and provide the best connection possible.

Carnegie’s Gapless Handover allows Continental’s Smart Telematics solution to deliver continuous data flow. If a cellular connection gets weak, but a Wi-Fi hotspot or smartphone with a different provider is available, it automatically switches the data flow to the most efficient data provider. If the connection is lost temporarily, such as driving through a tunnel, a call can stay activated in the background until a connection is reestablished, providing session persistence.

Vehicle manufacturers can have full control over when and how bandwidth aggregation and gapless handover are configured. They can choose which applications can use the embedded mobile network solution, prevent applications from using unsecured networks or set other parameters and rules. For example, media sync may be limited to the home Wi-Fi connection, passenger tablets can be prevented from using the embedded mobile network, or video conference calls can be set to seamlessly transition between embedded LTE, Wi-Fi or even satellite to avoid interruption in service.

Together with Inmarsat Continental is able to deliver another important piece to handle over-the-air updates globally through a single network using satellite network communication. The growing number of connected vehicles worldwide is driving an increased frequency of updates that demand a scalable, global solution.

Inmarsat operates multiple geostationary satellite constellations that provide a two-way data connection combined with a global broadcast capability to enable rapid, responsive and efficient over-the-air updates to vehicles everywhere. This will allow Continental’s customers to deploy worldwide update campaigns at the push of a button, bypassing the complexity of dealing with multiple mobile network operators. The collaboration between Continental and Inmarsat will also enable vehicles to leverage intelligent routing over satellite and terrestrial wireless (mobile, Wi-Fi) networks to achieve the best quality of service, least cost and highest availability.

The vehicle’s connection to the outside world is provided by a network access device developed by Continental. This can either be integrated into the intelligent antenna module or used as a standalone telematics unit. Gateways are intermediaries between the various network domains in a vehicle and act as communication routers.

They are centrally connected to all vehicle communication buses and have access to all relevant information. As a result, they provide the infrastructure required for over-the-air updates and distribute it to relevant electronic control units. The gateway can also be transformed from a pure information router to a central networking interface if the networking unit is directly integrated into the gateway.

Continental will showcase its next generation telematics and connectivity portfolio at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.