Stephen LongdenSpecialist ~ ITS & Telematics, SBD20 September 2010
TCUs and Connectivity for automotive telematics
Telematics@China Tour GuangzhouMy name is Stephen Longden and I am a Specialist in ITS and Telematics working for SBD.Today, Id like to talk about the issues vehicle manufacturers are facing while developing their TCU (Telematics Control Units) and connectivity solutions.Before I do that, Id like to explain briefly who SBD are for those of you who have not heard of us before.
1Bridging the gap between the automotive industry and the real world
SBD provides specialist, technical consultancy services to help you bridge the gap between the automotive issues, such as: cost reductiontechnical barriersquality requirements
and the market requirements, such as: customer needs market acceptance technology maturity2Telematics & ITSSecurityLow Speed ImpactImproving societyReducing the cost of ownershipWe provide analysis, forecasts, recommendations and data in three core automotive areas. The first is Telematics & ITS, in which we help our clients understand key market trends within topics such as Navigation and infotainment. The second is Security, in which we help our clients understand theft trends, evaluate the performance of security systems and improve cost of ownership. And the third is Low Speed Impact, in which we help our clients by providing design concepts, setting performance targets and developing pricing strategies.
Our capabilities extend to the automotive markets in: Europe, Japan, North America, South America, Russia, India and China, as well as other key automotive markets such as Australia and South Korea.
We work with the worlds most respected corporations across the entire automotive value chain, including: Vehicle manufacturers, Tier-one suppliers, Service providers and other related industries. We understand and respect different approaches to conducting business around the world.
We help our customers by providing a range of services, including: Technical Research, End Customer SurveysMarket IntelligenceAnd Strategic business planning4
Some of our customersGlobal activities: China, Europe, Japan, North America, Brazil, Russia, Middle East, ASEAN, South Africa.5Overview6Overview.7ConnectivityBarriersDesigning the TCU
Communications approach and data transfer method are key The Telematics Control Unit (TCU) is just one element within a distributed system of sensors, antennas and networked ECUs that form the electrical architecture for telematics. The specific architecture varies by vehicle manufacturer and modelVMs have to investigate the communications approach and data transfer method before finalising their TCU design8
ConnectivityBarriersBrought-in or built-in connectivity?
?There are basically two different approaches a VM can take to enable connectivity:
They can either embed all the communications capability into the vehicle TCU itself I will refer to this as a built-in or embedded solution. Alternatively, the manufacturer can rely on a brought-in device to provide the communications capability linked to the TCU I will refer to this as a brought-in solution.
Both approaches are used by different vehicle manufacturers at the moment and, in the next slide, we will review in detail some of the options available.9ConnectivityBarriersConnectivity options in detail...OEM pays the ongoing costsUser pays the ongoing costs
SIM brought-in, modem built-inSIM slotBluetooth SAP to users phoneSIM and modem brought-inPlug-in modemUsers phoneWireless link to users phoneWired link to users phoneBluetooth HFP (data over voice)Bluetooth DUN/PAN (tethering)Bluetooth SPP(side-loading)
Bluetooth MAP(SMS transfer)Brought-in
SIM and modem built-inBuilt-in
Talk through the different connectivity options (animated slide)HFP = Handsfree profileDUN/PAN = Dial Up Network/Personal Area NetworkSPP = Serial Port ProfileMAP = Message Access ProfileLater on I will talk through the pros and cons of each option.10ConnectivityBarriersBuilt-in connectivity provides a robust solution
Lets take a look in a bit more detail at some of the pros and cons of embedded (built-in) connectivity, where the in-vehicle system provides the communications capability.
Advantages:Communications not reliant on an external device no user setup requiredRobust, reliable solutionSuitable for providing safety and security services (with appropriate mounting location)No compatibility issues with different phones, Bluetooth profiles, etc.
Disadvantages:High cost due to embedded modem and SIMRisk that embedded technology could become obsolete within vehicle lifetime (e.g. 2G switch-off)Difficult to agree contract with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) which provides reasonable roaming costs for all countries.11ConnectivityBarriersBrought-in connectivity is low-cost and the call costs are transferred to the user
Now lets take a look at some of the general pros and cons of brought-in connectivity solutions, where an external component, such as the users mobile phone, provides the communications capability.
Advantages:Ongoing communications costs are transferred to the user.Can be a low-cost solution, especially when the brought-in device contains both the modem and SIMGreater flexibility for the OEM to develop their business model as a consequence.Reduced concern about technical obsolescence.
Disadvantages:For solutions which wirelessly connect to the external device, this is not as reliable as a direct linkNot suitable for the provision of security-related services such as stolen vehicle tracking or remote door lock/unlockOperation reliant on the external device being present and operationalPossibility for some compatibility / network operator issues with certain Bluetooth implementations leveraging the users mobile phone.
12ConnectivityBarriersWho is doing what? embedded modem and SIM
These graphics are borrowed from a recent report we have just completed in this area. Please forgive me if a bit too busy and small text. But I think it will be interesting to look at some examples of what VMs across the world are doing in terms of the TCU connectivity issues.
Some of the vehicle manufacturers currently using an embedded TCU solution for telematics include:GM OnStar largest number of subscribers (just under 6 million) standard fitment on a majority of their current vehicles NA only.BMW Assist available in many different markets technically very advanced in its capability.Volvo OnCall safety and security focussedPSA Connect (eTouch) servicesToyota in both US and JapanVolvo
13ConnectivityBarriersWho is doing what? external SIM and modem: Bluetooth DUN/PAN link to phone
Interesting to see BMW in here. Some VMs are offering varieties of solutions. Not just one. Problems with DUN/PAN as: Not all phones support it, network operators dont like tethering, BT connection not as reliable/safe, danger of high charges for data use if user does not have a data plan.
14Brought-in solution - Bluetooth HFP (data over voice)Embedded (built-in) solutionCustomer pays for call costsConnectivityBarriersThere is no single perfect connectivity solution
e.g. 1e.g. 2
Low cost; user pays ongoing costs
Widely compatible solution
Low data rates are acceptable
Easy for customer to operate
Best communications performance
Robust (safety & security services)
Volume OEMPremium OEMThere is no one connectivity solution that will suit all vehicle manufacturers, all market segments and all mixes of services.
Discuss the possible solutions shown above these are just examples and not general solutions!Volume OEM with a low-cost Bluetooth HFP solutionPremium OEM with an embedded solution.
Furthermore, as the telecommunications industry moves apace, so new solutions may arrive at any time. We would recommend that vehicle manufacturers may adopt a modular approach to telematics, where connectivity is simply a component of the system that can be changed readily without impacting on the rest of the value chain.15ConnectivityBarriersCommunications speed faster is not necessarily betterLTE etc(4G)FastestSlowestIn addition to deciding the connectivity approach, VMs need to decide on data transfer method.Wide range of options for for data transfer speeds.Options range from SMS (still used by many systems globally) to LTE.An in-band-modem (IBM) solution is a method of transferring data over a voice channel. Qualcomm and Airbiquity are two companies that have developed in-band-modem solutions.Key message for automotive connectivity its important to keep our feet firmly on the ground when thinking about what communications bearer is required.The focus needs to be on cost, compatibility and suitability. Even SMS or IBM solutions are suitable for a range of services; whilst 2.5G technology (e.g. GPRS) is suitable for the vast majority of services.Therefore whilst 3G and 4G services may have a role to play in the future as costs decrease and the data requirements of future services increase, they are an expensive solution and the high data rates permitted are simply not required for the majority of telematics services.However, I am aware of a number of Chinese VMs (ChangAn, Chery, FAW etc) that have announced they are developing 3G telematics services.
16Overview17ConnectivityBarriersConnectivity via a brought-in device has potential compatibility concernsLowest usability ratingHighest usability rating
Phone billWhilst using a brought-in device to enable connectivity can offer significant benefits in reducing cost and passing the ongoing costs to the user, vehicle manufacturers must give care