IAV’s Hyper-connected BMW i3 Is Just a Little Taste of Our V2X Future

5 months ago by Sebastian Blanco 10

BMW i3 modified by IAV

BMW i3 modified by IAV at SAE WCX 2017. Photo by Sebastian Blanco.

Internet Of Things On Board

The issue is scale. Getting one car to report to the cloud that there’s a pothole in the road or that it has started to rain isn’t all that useful. But if you have 100 car reporting the same thing – or all the cars on the road, one day – then you’re starting to get some truly interesting data and opportunities.

This is part of the vehicle-to-X (V2X) connected future that John Cooper, business development director for IAV, explained to InsideEVS at the SAE WCX conference in Detroit today. IAV brought a modified BMW i3 to the show that can sense the world around it and send that information to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, IAV’s partner in its V2X tests. Since no-one yet knows how much of the analysis for understanding all of this data will be done on the car and how much will be done in the cloud, IAV is testing both methods right now. The i3 on display uses HPE’s Universal Internet of Things (IoT) platform and an HPE Edgeline micro gateway, according to press materials.

Besides the weather and road condition examples cited above, Cooper offered other real-world examples of what a hyper-connected car like IAV’s i3 could do. IAV’s main customers today are VW/Audi, Daimler, and BMW, so one useful trick for Europe is letting the car know when it crosses a border, so that if you leave a country where daytime running lights are not required (like Germany) and enter one where they are (Austria), your car automatically turns them on.

Cooper said that IAV is talking to the USDOT about similar settings in the US. A connected car could also talk to your smart home and figure out the status of your home charger, for example. This way, you would know before you arrive if your kid has plugged in his hand-me-down Leaf or if you’ll be able to fill up right when you get home.

Of course, there’s one important thing that has to happen to make these sorts of communications feasible and really open up the V2X world, Cooper said: mandated V2X components.

“The OEMs will not put them on unless they are forced do so,” he said. “I’m personally not one for forcing the OEMs to do a lot, but in the case of the V2X communication, I’m a firm believer in it, because there are so many positive byproducts that could come from it.”

No one really knew how smartphones could change the world, but once they were in everyone’s pocket, we discovered all the different things that they could become. It’s the same with connected cars, Cooper believes. “Once you have regular standard communication on all new vehicles,” he said, “you will see all kinds of applications take off.”

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10 responses to "IAV’s Hyper-connected BMW i3 Is Just a Little Taste of Our V2X Future"

  1. DJ says:

    So is V2X just another way or saying the IoT…

    1. Michael Will says:

      And to distract that we may really want V2Home instead, to use your electric car as a battery backup for your home energy needs. Nissan was looking into that for the Leafs, but I have not heard anything about that lately.

      1. JB says:

        First V2V and V2Grid/V2Home/V2Load don’t have much in common in term of technology except for the “V2” part that is just a trendy way of discussing interactions. The former is about data processing, the latter is purely about energy supply.

        Additionnaly, on V2G, you can read the opinion of JB Straubel, Tesla’s CTO (so not really a Big Oil worshipper)

        https://cleantechnica.com/2016/08/22/vehicle-to-grid-used-ev-batteries-grid-storage/

        To sum up his arguments, V2G sounds great but will be challenged by regulation and accelerated battery degradation.

        I totally follow him on smart charging though, a convenient and easy ay to save money and ease pressure on the grid (that is threatened by renewables, as great as they are)

        1. Dan says:

          There are alternate solutions that are more reliable and cheaper. For example, Raccoon mountain in southeastern Tennessee was designed to store enough water to generate 1.6GW for 22hours (that’s 36GWh!)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon_Mountain_Pumped-Storage_Plant

          These kinds of solutions that leverage potential energy in nature to store solar power are better in the long run than using chemical energy stored in batteries. Batteries have their place in transportation and in mobile devices, not grid scale storage.

  2. a-kindred-soul says:

    It would be very practicle if, because of all the cars that send data to the cloud, you could see on your screen map, while driving, where it is snowing on the road and especially the heavy snow-storm snowing.

    This winter I was crossing France from north to south and a snow storm was developing that was so heavy that you would better not be driving. I tried to stay in front of the front, but local features like hilly landscapes interfered with the general movement of the storm from northwest to southeast. So sometimes I was inside the storm, while I would have been outside if I would have taken a route just a bit more to the west. If I could have seen that on my sat nav map on the screen of my Soul EV that would have been very practicle.

  3. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

    “o one useful trick for Europe is letting the car know when it crosses a border, so that if you leave a country where daytime running lights are not required (like Germany) and enter one where they are (Austria), your car automatically turns them on.”

    Wow! They really must be frustrated by the fact that their v2x development can provide virtually no benefit to come up with such a stupid example!

    Hey guys, to do that you just need GPS and some lousy internet connection (to update the list in case of legislation change…)

    HaaaaRrrrgggghhhh! What a waste of time, money and human resources… Hhhhaaaaaaarrrggg!

  4. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

    “A connected car could also talk to your smart home and figure out the status of your home charger, for example. This way, you would know before you arrive if your kid has plugged in his hand-me-down Leaf or if you’ll be able to fill up right when you get home”

    Haaaaarrrrrgghhhh!

    Why do they have the right to use the term v2x???

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Just breathe deeply and keep saying to yourself: the Internet of Things is a fad that will fade.

  5. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

    What is the difference between connected and hyper-connected?

    Yeah right…

    1. DJ says:

      It’s like how they call the computers in Tesla’s for their autopilot “super computers”.

      Maybe they should be called a super duper computer because last I checked Titan/Sequoia (which are now even way surpassed) or the likes would mop the floor with what is in a Model S or X (or any other car out there).

      Super computer my derriere…

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