Sono Motors: OTA-Update capacity and other digital services for Sion

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Sono Motors: OTA-Update capacity and other digital services for Sion-capacity

In the last 20 years, digitization has influenced every aspect of human life, changed, or at least touches in any way: communication, social interaction, organization, nutrition, living and natural mobility. With the increasing facilitation of access to digital navigation – first by handy GPS systems and later through smartphones – digitization influences the everyday life of mobility of millions of people. Navigating through a foreign country with the help of a card that tries to decipher a passenger is now obsolete. In return, since then, we have been welcoming the robot voices of the language assistants in our vehicles.

The navigation was only the beginning of the digital services in the car. In addition, today, as with many other devices such as phones, music systems, heaters, refrigerators and washing machines, more and more vehicles are connected to the Internet. Thus, accesses to data are simplified, software maintenance over-the-air is performed, or the state of hardware components checked. Meanwhile, digital infotainment systems are characterized by the dashboards of our cars and provide information about speed limits, distances or the next podcast on a playlist.

Of course, the solar electric car Sono Motors also have such functions as a unique and innovative vehicle. These not only help to facilitate the maintenance and updating of the software, but also reveal a lot about how the start-up can further improve its vehicles, Sono Motors explains in a current blog post. Of course, that vehicle holders are ready to share this data for such purposes.

To be able to offer these services reliably, efficiently and safely, it needs a competent and experienced partner. With the California software company Sibros, which was founded in 2018, Sono Moters wants to find exactly this. Johannes Buckle, Head of Digital Product at Sono Motors, and Hemant Sikaria, CEO and co-founder of Sibros told in the interview published by Sono itself more about the new partnership, their goals and the next development steps.

“We founded Sibros because vehicles from our private environment were often recalled by their manufacturers,” explains Sikaria. He had to bring his own car within just one year three times due to software problems back to the dealer. These “incredibly time-consuming and stressful experience” have brought him to the idea of starting a separate company for over-the-air (OTA) updates for cars.

He already had experience with the technology, since he was still involved as an engineer at the E-Auto Primus Tesla in building the software update systems. As a suffering of software problems with his own car, he determined “that most automakers outside Tesla have no software update features to fix problems from afar”. So the idea came up to start Sibros first as a commercial platform to offer OTA software updates for vehicles. “Meanwhile, we have developed a software and data management system for vehicles today,” explains Sikaria.

“Sibros’ mission is to further establish networked vehicle ecosystems”

“Sibros’ mission is to further establish networked vehicle ecosystems”, so the founder further, for which “a robust software and data management” is crucial. “Using networked vehicles, a large number of advanced applications and offers can be built, both of which benefit end customers and automakers,” explains Sikaria: “For example, we can fix software errors, bypassing product recalls with extensive software updates, use telematics data for usage-based insurance or improve the future quality and the design of products “.

To achieve this, three basic requirements must be fulfilled, explains Sibros CEO: “First, there must be software updates sent from the cloud to all available components. Second, we need high quality data collected by the vehicle and sent to the Cloud. The third prerequisite are remote control and diagnostic commands, which are sent to the vehicle if necessary “. For this purpose, Sibros had developed a special end-to-end platform, which should now be used in the Sono Sion.

“We are firmly convinced that this cooperation is beneficial for both sides”

“We are firmly convinced that this cooperation is an advantage for both sides,” says Johannes Buckle of Sono Digital. As a completely new car manufacturer Sono Motors can only benefit from the know-how of Sibros. “The team there worked on many vehicles and knows exactly what has to happen to meet certain requirements”. The team of Sono Motors in turn could “bring their expertise from previous mobility services as well as from our running pilots.”

The partnership with Sibros is very important for the product development of Sono Digital, as Buckle explains: “Our goal is to create a seamless digital experience, both inside and outside the car”. The includes services such as car sharing, ride pooling and power sharing, as well as the entire digital experience of the Sion owners. For this is Sibros with its “extensive track record in implementing and updating networked vehicles” the ideal partner. Since crosslinked systems are very complex, the holistic approach of Sibros is really beneficial “.

“When it comes to networked cars, many companies offer only part of the puzzle,” explains Sikaria. Sibros has therefore developed a system, “which covers every aspect of OTA software and data management”. This “highly configurable product” can be used relatively quickly in vehicle concepts. This is also “the central difference to other service-based solutions that require multiple providers with pronounced integration and adaptation.”

“Many providers promise a vehicle width updatability and data acquisition, but actually address only the most important infotainment and telematics units or a handful of control units,” says Sikaria. Sibros has therefore set his system specially “so designed that it really works with any control unit in the vehicle”. So software updates are possible to “recalibrate or repair each component”. At the same time, the Sono Motors system offer the ability to “collect data that can really improve the future product.”Sikaria explicitly emphasizes in this context,” that all software updates and activities related to data acquisition are carried out only with the customer’s consent and full compliance with all necessary security and privacy policy.”

Currently, the teams of Sibros and Sono Motors are doing all these things in the Solar Electroauto Sion. The claim is to achieve the overall goal of Sono for this year: “To create all milestones for the development of the Sion”, as Buckle says: “By the end of 2021 we want all digital customer interfaces, including Infotainment and the mobile app, within Sono Developing the motor “.

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