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An East of England company has launched an IT system that specifically addresses the needs of electric vehicles (EVs) and fleets. Live data from vehicle, driver and environment are being used to accurately predict the driving range, and propose best charging points. The system also plugs into existing dispatch systems. The software is on offer to EV fleets and dispatch solution vendors under a license agreement. Automotive infotainment manufacturers are sought for a R&D project under Eurostars.
With legislation changes to air quality pushing congestion charging and the banning of diesel vehicles from cities globally, fleet operators are moving to EVs. At the same time, fleets are concerned with range anxiety and not utilising their EVs and drivers efficiently. Current systems in vehicles use inaccurate and often conversation estimates of remaining charge. Existing dispatch systems are disparate and do not provide the required accuracy to allocate a journey or multiple journeys to an EV. This has led to higher total costs of ownership when leasing or buying an EV and a reticence to adopt EVs fully in fleets.
In order to increase the attractiveness and profitability of using EVs a Cambridge, UK company provides an energy prediction for a journey based on vehicle and driver combinations.
The application is targeted at small and large fleet clients as well as commuters, for managing their mobile workforce and journeys. The platform uses a driver's app, which is used to connect and schedule a journey based on various data points. It can operate in two possible ways: either the driver logs in and starts scheduling their own journeys (see the Picture), or the platform plugs into the fleet’s existing dispatch system using the application program interface (API) to respond to journey requests in real time. An on-board device pulls the vehicle data and sends to the app. Machine learning on the server then takes this into account plus driving patterns and other data.
The software is on the market and provides 20% higher utilisation across fleets on average.
The company is interested in license agreements with both dispatch partners or fleet operators and also commuters.
At the same time, research cooperation is being sought with automotive OEM or tier 1 infotainment manufacturers, preferably under Eurostars. The project would prove the concept of embedding the solution into an electric vehicle infotainment/head unit utilising over the air updates. This would require unlocking the CAN and providing details regarding the vehicle, driver and atmospherics (third party data sources for live weather/traffic) so the UK company can provide this service to an existing test fleet.
The UK company will provide the minimum data requirements to run the prediction software.
This would provide personalised journey prediction for each single/batch journey and has several value added points for automotive manufacturers including removal of range anxiety, upgrading clients to new versions of the vehicle or running a subscription service business model for after sales teams.
• 6-9 months maximum
• Costs split between partners for engineering time, test vehicle(s) and other project costs.
The software is innovative as it is specifically designed for the needs of electric fleet service providers (taxi, delivery, services). The main value proposition of the solution is:
Improved utilisation and revenue for fleets.
The platform typically provides 20% higher utilisation of driver and EV within a shift. It can determine how much energy the driver/vehicle will need in real time. This means less downtime charging, greater income for the driver and service levels for the fleet. The platform uses live data to respond to requests using algorithm around driver, vehicle and atmospherics.
Environmental and legislation adherence.
The platform assists fleets to move to EV and have lower emissions of up to 10.24 tonnes per vehicle per year based on a 40,000 mile per year vehicle. This improves utilisation but also removes emissions from densely populated areas improving air quality in the process. This also means fleets are future proofing themselves for impending changes in licensing.
The API will work with dispatch software partners meaning no difficult installation or servicing.
The platform has been specifically designed to the needs and peculiarities of electric vehicles (EVs) and as such, is targeted at service providers and operators who have mobile workforces. These can either be commuters, SMEs or large companies - the platform scales accordingly. The company is mainly open to licensing but will consider further development.
At the same time, vendors of dispatch solutions are being sought to integrate the solution under a license agreement.
For further development, a research cooperation is proposed under Eurostars with an automotive manufacturer or tier 1 supplier to automotive industry.