Building the ecosystem to success

In the regular new column on the evolving Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, Antony Savvas looks at a number of interesting industry developments.

Ericsson, Volvo Construction Equipment and Telia are operating Sweden’s first 5G network for industrial use at Volvo CE’s research and development facility in Eskilstuna, a municipality around 90km west of Stockholm. The initiative allows Volvo CE to test remote-controlled machines and autonomous products with the technology.

Operated with a test licence, the 5G network comprises Ericsson commercial hardware and software, including 5G New Radio and Core products from Ericsson’s 5G Platform.

The partners aim to create automated products for the remote control of construction machinery. They also aim to increase industry efficiency and sustainability through 5G testing. Volvo CE hopes to be able to apply the lessons learned from tests at Eskilstuna to its global activities.

Emergency standards

As for standards, Sierra Wireless has announced that its AirLink MG90 High-Performance Multi-Network Vehicle Router is now certified and approved for use on the UK’s Emergency Services Network (ESN).

The ESN is a dedicated network for emergency services that will serve potentially up to 300,000 individuals and connect up to 50,000 vehicles. The network provides secure and resilient mobile broadband data for routine and mission-critical emergency services use and will be the future platform for communications in the emergency services. Customers for the ESN include police, fire and rescue and ambulance services.

Emergency services will benefit from improved voice and data communications and priority network use.

Chip development

In a major chip development, Altair Semiconductor – a Sony Group company and a provider of cellular IoT chipsets – is partnering with ERM Advanced Telematics, a global provider of automotive technology and IoT solutions, to develop a new range of low-powered and installation-free automotive IoT solutions.

ERM’s new set of IoT and asset management offerings leverage Altair’s optimised cellular IoT chipsets to provide solutions for stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) and vehicle financial services. These will include platforms for automatic vehicle location and asset management applications using various sensors.

The ultra-low power consumption of Altair’s chipsets allows devices to be activated without having to be connected to and powered by the vehicle’s battery, significantly reducing installation costs.

According to Kfir Lavi, senior VP and deputy CEO at ERM Advanced Telematics, “As installation costs continue to rise in comparison to hardware prices, Altair’s unparalleled low power performance and extended battery life means we can provide on-board solutions with minimal installation requirements that are able to remain in the field for up to two years,”.

Better navigation

As for safe navigation, AMS, Ibeo and ZF Friedrichshafen are partnering to “make sure that LiDAR technology can be quickly and safely adopted by 2021”.

LiDAR is the optical sensing technology that measures the distance and direction of surrounding objects by illuminating them with a laser beam and detecting the reflection of the object. Its unique range and resolution properties complement radar and camera solutions to enable the ‘Holy Grail’ of the self-driving car industry – SAE level 5* or fully autonomous driving.

“LiDAR is already a key technology in the automotive sector,” says Ulrich Lages, CEO of Ibeo Automotive Systems, “and the combination of our solution know-how with ams’ VCSEL technology will create a tipping point for solid-state LiDAR in the automotive sector.”

“Being a first to market with solid-state LiDAR means ams brings a unique capability to Ibeo’s and ZF’s integration and deployment capabilities,” adds Alexander Everke, CEO of AMS.

New funding

Another camera development involves Israeli start-up TriEye, whose Short-Wave-Infra-Red (SWIR) sensing technology is able to see in adverse weather and night-time conditions. It has announced a US$17 million (€15 million) Series A funding round led by Intel Capital.

Other investors include Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies, and TriEye’s existing investor Grove Ventures, headed by TriEye chairman Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB flash drive.

TriEye’s “breakthrough” HD SWIR camera, whose initial samples are expected to enter the market in 2020, is designed to save lives on the roads. The camera will allow Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles to achieve “flawless vision capabilities” under common adverse weather or low-light conditions, promises the vendor.

Other approaches to solving the low visibility challenge have not been successful. Even when combining several sensing solutions such as radar, LiDAR and a camera, it is “impossible” to accurately detect and identify objects such as a cyclist at night under common adverse conditions, says TriEye.

Antony Savvas

“This limitation is impeding the wide-scale deployment and adoption of ADAS and autonomous vehicles,” it says. The defence and aerospace industries have already solved the low visibility challenge by using InGaAs-based SWIR cameras. However, until now, these cameras have been too expensive for mass-market applications.

Similar to a common digital camera, TriEye’s SWIR technology is CMOS-based, enabling the scalable mass-production of SWIR sensors and “reducing the cost by a factor of 1,000” compared to current InGaAs-based technology. As a result, the company says it can produce an affordable HD SWIR camera in a miniaturised format, supporting easy in-vehicle mounting behind the car’s windshield.

Transport simulation

Staying on the funding side of things, Immense Simulations, a spin-out from the UK government’s Catapult programme, has raised $4.6 million (€4.1 million) in a Series A funding round co-led by Amadeus Capital Partners and Japanese VC Global Brain Corporation, with participation from 31 Ventures.

The UK-headquartered start-up is developing a transport simulation platform with the help of a team of Silicon Valley-based engineers, with the aim of improving performance in transport networks and easing congestion.

It is doing this transportation modelling with a firm eye on how autonomous vehicles fit into the mix. The company’s “beta” offering has already been used to develop simulation models for San Francisco, Chicago, London, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge and Montreal. In addition, it is working on projects with UK private fleet operator Addison Lee.

We’ll have another round-up of ecosystem developments next month.

The author is Antony Savvas, a freelance technology writer.

 Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Infineon simplifies secure IoT device-to-cloud authentication with CIRRENT Cloud ID service

Posted on: October 21, 2021

Munich, Germany. 21 October 2021 – Infineon Technologies AG launched CIRRENT Cloud ID, a service that automates cloud certificate provisioning and IoT device-to-cloud authentication. The easy-to-use service extends the chain of trust and makes tasks easier and more secure from chip-to-cloud, while lowering companies’ total cost of ownership. Cloud ID is ideal for cloud-connected product companies

Read more

MNOs want clearer views of network performance and user experience to generate new 5G revenues

Posted on: October 21, 2021

Quebec City, Canada – While 88% of mobile network operators (MNOs) are set to deploy 5G standalone (SA) in the next two years, many are still searching for the tools that will enable these networks to generate revenues from enterprises and industry. This is according to joint research findings from Heavy Reading and EXFO Inc., the communications industry’s

Read more