Case Study: Predictive Maintenance in Electic Vehicle Fleet with TCU

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the next step in the evolution of the automotive industry and transport telematics. They bring cost savings, comfort, minimal emission, and many more advantages to the user. However, EVs require telematics to improve the user experience and ease of ride.

The proliferation of electric vehicles has led to a new wave of telematics solutions that provide various services such as route management, battery health, alerts/notifications on the charge level, and the next charging station to plan the trip accordingly.

Catering to this, iWave has developed the Telematics Control Unit (TCU) which allows for real-time visualization, analysis, and tracking of various vehicle parameters of electric vehicles, enabling a personalized in-vehicle experience.

Challenges and Telematic Solutions

Telematics solutions should seamlessly perform the following functions:

  • On-board calculation of critical performance parameters
  • On-board storage of historical data including battery lifetime behavior
  • Collation of data from other intelligent subsystems
  • On-board diagnostic algorithm to pinpoint any system issue

Furthermore, unlike commercial vehicles, EVs use non-standard protocols making data access a challenge.

A telematics solution for electric vehicles is usually a combination of a cloud-based platform and in-vehicle hardware. The hardware platform does the on-board diagnostics where it collects the data and relays it to the cloud-based platform via a cellular network. This data is then accessed by the fleet managers to review in-depth reports on vehicle performance metrics.

Telematics Control Unit for Electric Vehicles

Telematics control unit function as Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), collecting and transmitting telemetry data such as the driver’s current location, average speed, driving behaviour, and other parameters such as battery level, discharge rate on routes taken, next charging station, and others.

The telematics control unit is powered by i.MX 6 ULL processors. Equipped with three CAN ports and an ethernet port, the TCU can collect data at speeds of more than 1000 packets per second. Support for wireless technologies such as 4G cellular support, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth aid in the integration of intelligence into electric vehicles. These technologies power a wide range of use cases for fleet owners and drivers.

The solution includes one CAN-FD and two HS-CAN interfaces for communication between different nodes or electronic control units (ECUs). The TCU uses AWS Greengrass to connect hardware devices, cloud platforms, and end-user applications.

Furthermore, to address security concerns, iWave integrated a security suite that includes secure boot, Wi-Fi secure API, event logging, OS hardening, and access control, to name a few. Secure File System uses end-to-end encryption to protect data and prevent unauthorized access.

iWave telematics solutions include support for various automotive protocol stacks to ensure efficient communication between the automotive electronic control units and the server.

  • UDS Protocol Stack (UDS) – enable diagnostics, firmware updates, routine testing, and more
  • ISO 15765-4 – ensure that the vehicle’s regulated CAN communications meet the requirement of external test equipment
  • CANopen Protocol Stack – provides standard methods for configuring devices and enables system designers to transfer control information, react to certain error conditions, or influence, and control the network behavior

Because of the device’s good design, ease of use, and software flexibility, customers can quickly integrate it into electric vehicles for data analysis.

Since 1999, iWave has provided companies with best-in-industry telematics solutions by covering all aspects of end-to-end development including hardware, firmware, software, and cloud integration. iWave also offers compliance and certification flexibility.

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For more information on Telematics Control Unit, click here.

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