CarsNews

“Connected Car” à la Bugatti: Telemetry for the most exclusive customer concierge service in the automotive world

Bugatti telemetry for data analysis unique in a production vehicle

Bugatti has many years of experience in this field. The super sports car manufacturer already
developed this data transmission and analysis system which allows communication between
vehicles and customer service for its first modern supercar, the Veyron 16.4. Since 2004,
Bugatti has therefore been in a position to monitor the technical status of each individual
Bugatti from the company’s headquarters in Molsheim.

Uffmann has been working for Bugatti’s Technical Development Department for six years
and played a key role in the further development of the system for the brand’s latest super
sports car, the 1,500 PS Chiron. He and his team were supported by IAV,
Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr, a long-standing development partner of Bugatti
located in the North of Germany, which has been involved in the system right from the start.
The Bugatti telemetry system works mainly using mobile radio and monitors the operating
status of each Bugatti. It is “online” round-the-clock seven days per week – provided that the
customer’s vehicle is located in an area with mobile phone network.
With the launch of the Chiron, far more data can now be acquired and recorded in a variety
of different ways – permanently, temporarily with respect to individual events or limited to
certain time periods. The system keeps a close eye on about 10,000 signals from all parts of
a car, including engine, transmission, lights, air conditioning and infotainment system. As a
new feature on the Chiron, the data is transmitted on a real-time basis, something that is
normally only experienced with Formula One or DTM racing cars, where the race team
mechanics can monitor their cars from the pits. Live data from any location on earth takes no
longer than a text message to reach Bugatti. The Bugatti Flying Doctors do not need to
closely watch their monitors. If unusual signals are received from a vehicle, the responsible
flying doctor receives a message on his mobile phone.
This way, Customer Service receives the information needed to provide the best possible
support for each Bugatti. This includes prompt answers to customers’ questions over the
phone and long-term assessments of vehicles’ behaviour so that the flying doctor can
prepare for his upcoming visit to the customer. The highly qualified technicians therefore
know in advance which spare parts they need to order, if any, and can immediately place the
necessary orders.
Bugatti has three flying doctors, who are responsible for vehicles owned by Bugatti
customers in the regions of Europe/Russia, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific, and North
America. They are supported by mechanics at the company’s headquarters in Molsheim and
at the facilities of Bugatti’s 34 dealers and service partners throughout the world. From the
moment when a customer takes delivery of a Bugatti, the flying doctor is his direct contact for
all technical questions. Often, a close relationship of trust is developed over the years. The
flying doctors are available round-the-clock and are ready to board the next aircraft in order
to provide customers with the support they need either at the nearest dealer’s workshop or at
their homes if it is not possible to provide advice over the telephone or the required results
cannot be achieved in this way.

The telemetry system allows two-way communication, not only from the Bugatti to the
customer service centre but also vice versa. Customer Service can transmit data to the
vehicle in order to change configurations or, to a certain extent, to carry out software
updates.
This sophisticated technology is not packaged in a particularly spectacular way. The
Customer Service laptop “talks” to an aluminium box in the vehicle which is only 140 mm
wide, 50 mm high and 100 mm long. Despite its small size and light weight, the box is
packed with power, housing eight vehicle networks such as CAN (Controlled Area Network)
buses. An on-board network links the various controllers of the vehicle. The control
mechanisms, which have greatly increased in number, exchange data as in a telephone
conference call. The telemetry box listens in to these communications in an event-controlled
way, recording diagnostic information from at least 30 control units in the vehicle and
forwarding it in encrypted form to customer service depending on the requests received from
Molsheim.
In addition to everyday technical support, the tracking of stolen vehicles is a feature of the
telemetry system that is highly appreciated by customers. While owners of a Veyron still had
to report the theft of their Bugatti to Molsheim personally in order to activate the stolen
vehicle tracking system, the Chiron will draw attention to itself automatically using the
telemetry system in situations that are unusual for the car, for example if it is transported by
truck.

Following the successful premiere of the telemetry system for customer service on the
Veyron, Uffmann discovered another area of application for the system. “Using the
experience we had gained with the Veyron, we already used telemetry in the technical
development phase of the Chiron. That was a new approach,” says Uffmann. This way, it
was not only possible to test the individual development phases of the new system rapidly in
practice; the vehicle developers were also able to provide active support for the various test
drives throughout the world. For example, the prototypes were monitored on a real-time
basis from Bugatti’s development back office in Wolfsburg. In the case of long-term test
vehicles, statistics were prepared and evaluated. This applied both to testing in hot
conditions in the USA and to test drives in South Africa. Using this approach, problems could
be detected and solved faster. “Telemetry made a key contribution to the development of the
Chiron. At the same time, the telemetry system itself was also improved”, the engineer
reports.
When asked about data protection and security, Norbert Uffmann underlines that this is a top
priority. All customers whose Bugattis receive telemetry support have given their consent in
advance in the vehicle purchase contract. With only a few exceptions, all owners have given
their consent as they see telemetry as the perfect way of providing the all-round service that
they appreciate and enjoy using. Data transmission between vehicle and server is effected
with individual security certificates depending on the topic concerned. The security
certificates are continually updated in line with the latest Volkswagen Group security
standards. In the case of Bugatti, only a strictly limited number of highly qualified employees have access to the data. Access rights are also individually defined depending on the topic
and the employees concerned.

Source : Bugatti

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Close
%d bloggers like this: