Smart vehicles require mobile, dynamic, real-time data from efficient and reliable transport networks.

Smart transport networks hinge on the efficient, reliable and real-time distribution of data between cars, other road users, infrastructure and applications.

Solace recently announced a partnership with MobiledgeX, which will help automakers offer hyper-personalized mobility services to enhance driver safety and convenience. The joint solution by Solace and MobiledgeX will unlock the potential to deploy innovative mobility services in and around vehicles.

In this interview, Sumeet Puri, Senior VP and Global Head of Field Technology, Solace took DigiconAsia on a journey into the future of hyper-personalized mobility in vehicles for enhanced driver safety and convenience.

How do personalized mobility services help to enhance driver safety and convenience?

Sumeet: When moving vehicles, be it automobiles, bicycles, or even pedestrians, are aware of each other’s movements, it is possible to detect collision probability and prevent accidents. This is similar to how the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) works to prevent aircraft collisions.

For example, if a car and a bicycle are unknowingly approaching the same junction, geolocation technology on vehicles or available to the drivers will allow both road users to overcome their respective blindspots and adjust accordingly. An autonomous vehicle in that situation can slow down upon receiving signals of potential danger.

Once you expand this into a Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) scenario, where mobile devices, vehicles, lampposts, traffic signals are all communicating at the edge and to the cloud, all this data processed in real-time will enable preventive actions, enhancing driver safety and convenience.

Once drivers feel safe, they can potentially be more productive while commuting. It won’t happen tomorrow, but we have already seen progress. Many trains today are driverless, and aircrafts can fly on autopilot to a good extent, so we have solved the problem for vehicles on tracks and in the air.

Vehicles on roads are much more chaotic, so mobility services need to make a few leaps of innovation, together with streaming analytics, AI and ML.

What does it take for auto makers to incorporate hyper-personalized mobility into vehicles? What are the key challenges?

Sumeet: Many automakers already have pervasive connected vehicle programs and V2X initiatives, and they continue to get better, overcoming challenges. If we break down the problem, the challenges are at various layers:

First, the mobile network needs to scale in latency, bandwidth and coverage. Technologies such as 5G, Edge networks are evolving to fill this space.

Second, once you have the network, how do we make certain that the sensors and applications in the vehicle stream the right information to the edge or cloud services? “Event streaming” at scale needs to support large volumes of publish subscribe patterns, guaranteed delivery and end to end device addressing. Standards such as MQTT are solid in this space, and event brokers deployed as an event mesh are required. An event mesh across the edge and the cloud, including on premise systems, will ensure that only the right events occur.

For example, if we want to use our phone to start our car and turn on the air-conditioning while it is still in the parking lot – the event will need to be streamed to the car and systems in the car manufacturer’s cloud. Entertainment systems in cars work in the same way, although we will need to keep the command and control event flow and entertainment event flow separate from each other.

Third, applications themselves need to be decoupled from each other, and should be able to connect to the event mesh, publish and subscribe events, information and decisions to the mesh, so that they get routed to the vehicle, or other applications – without worrying about how.

Ensuring the safety, security and predictability of the above layers are also critical steps. Lastly, automakers need to remain agile and have the ability to add new capabilities in a plug and play manner, rather than reinventing all the layers. This is why a layered approach is essential. You need the event mesh and the radio layers to be closely coupled with other applications.

With other external factors and data critical to offering a truly smart experience for drivers, how do you achieve that?

Sumeet: There are 4 key factors:

  1. A layered approach to overall connectivity, with the event mesh layer riding on a multi telco 5G layer.
  2. Edge processing will need to evolve due to latency requirements – it takes many milliseconds for a round trip to a far-away server even at the speed of light. Processing has to move closer to the source of the data for command and control, real time scenarios.
  3. Multi source event streaming is critical, so that external data such as weather data, and other happenings such as a falling tree are also streamed as events over the event mesh in real time.
  4. Above all, security and robustness of these layers are vital to offer a truly smart experience for drivers.

What are some key use cases for the Solace-MobiledgeX partnership?

Sumeet: The Solace-MobiledgeX partnership allows processing on the edge for autonomous vehicles and V2X. Aside from this, Solace’s event-driven technology has also supported many other mobility and connected cars initiatives.

We have partnered with Savari, a pioneer of V2X communications technology for smart infrastructure, to take advantage of ultra-low latency communication across large geographic areas. Our solutions are now jointly deployed in Germany, USA and Canada on MobiledgeX Cloudlets for cross-carrier, federated and aggregated mission-critical safety applications requiring integration between multiple operator Radio Access Networks.

One of our customers is a leading car manufacturer that utilizes a PubSub+ enabled event mesh as their digital backbone across 27 manufacturing sites to improve asset tracking and customer experience.

The backbone will enable real-time information flow between diverse assets (car parts, websites, cloud applications, back- end systems, etc.) across their entire business, helping the company leverage cutting-edge technology more quickly and effectively so they can deliver valuable and differentiating services to their engineering teams, lines of business and customers.