Short Interval Control

Embedded Microcontrollers In Vehicles Are Sensors For IoT

Embedded ECUs are basically computers that manage the basic input and output of Underground Fleet Management System from sensors in the vehicle. Modern day vehicles rely on this complex network of computers to interpret specific functions of the vehicle. Although many automotive functions seem unnoticeable and automatic to the end-user, this is made possible from an embedded microprocessor. These microprocessors or ECUs were first mass produced in 1970 and implemented as a solution to meet regulations on fuel and emission standards. Eventually by the 1980s, automotive OEMs incorporated additional ECUs to control dedicated functions of a car engine like the fuel injection system, an important element to the fuel efficiency ratio for a car. Fast forward to 2020 and vehicles today have hundreds of embedded ECUs processing and monitoring data for the most critical vehicle functions. For example, some popular functions managed by ECUs are anti-braking, traction control, active suspension control, cruise control, power windows and assisted parking to name a few. In addition to the advent of ECUs, another pivotal advancement for modern vehicle technology is its ability to communicate through a protocol between all of its embedded processing controllers, also known as the “CANBus.”

(example of an vehicle ECU)

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CANBus Protocol: The Communication Gateway For Vehicles

With hundreds of sensors now populated in modern day vehicles, one may ask how the data is transmitted from each ECU. This is made possible through the Controller Area Network Bus or CANbus protocol. The CANBus protocol is a message-based protocol that is used in vehicles to connect and transfer information about specific statuses of the vehicle. For example, modern vehicles use embedded ECUs and sensors for predictive maintenance diagnostics in real-time. Learn more about the specifics of the CANBus protocol and the technology drivers behind it in a blog post here. An example of an ECU and CANBus at work is when the “maintenance required” light is displayed in the dashboard for many vehicles. Ultimately, the introduction of ECUs and CANBus protocol were pivotal advancements for modern vehicle in terms of the communication and transmission of data. But as vehicles continue to become more reliant on digital data in our technology-driven world, a new demand for better insights and analytics is shaping opportunities for better telematics solutions.

What Are Vehicle Telematics?

In general, the term “telematics” is a convergence of both telecommunication and information processing at its core. Add the word “vehicle” in front and it becomes a hot topic among many IoT and edge computing discussions for the major benefits telematics technologies can provide. These technologies can be any device that collects and communicates data on the status of the vehicle. Vehicle telematics data that is collected is extremely valuable as it provides the foundation for many benefits. Some vehicle telematics that are beneficial can be anything from GPS location tracking, optimizing fuel consumption, and even monitoring component health for vehicles. Successful vehicle telematics solutions are often hardware devices and software working together to analyze data for a certain application. An example would be commercial fleet vehicles that use telematics data to gain an overview of its entire fleet of vehicles to improve efficiency and profitability. Commercial fleet vehicles is an area where it shows most promise and benefits from analyzing its vehicle telematics data.