Enabling a Seamless Connected Car Experience with HiveMQ

According to research from KPMG’s Global Automotive Executive Survey, “Connectivity and Digitalization” is a top focus identified by automotive executives. Using IoT technology, these companies are creating new connected services and gathering telemetry data from vehicles to implement new applications, such as:

  • Car and ride-sharing services
  • Predictive maintenance to extend the life of a car
  • Enhanced in-car user experiences
  • ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance) and autonomous driving

Customers Expect a Fast and Reliable Experience

Customers are starting to embrace a more advanced connected car experience. They appreciate the benefits of increased safety, more intuitive and responsive HMI and more efficient maintenance.

However, customers also have high expectations for their digital interactions. Driven by the user experience of smartphones and the web, customers expect a fast and responsive system. Unlocking a car door with a mobile app should take sub-seconds, not 30 seconds. Throughout a trip, customers expect in-car features or car sharing services to be fast and reliable; no matter the location or peak customer demand.

Technical Challenges Building a Connected Car Platform

A connected car platform is the software infrastructure supporting any new connected car service. It includes the software technology required to connect vehicles with the cloud, transmit data and events between the vehicle and the cloud, and integrate the telematics data with existing back-end IT systems at an OEM or supply chain partner.

Building a connected car platform that meets customer expectations comes with several technical challenges. The movement of the vehicles and the sheer number of simultaneous connected devices create some unique architectural considerations, including:

Network connectivity is often unreliable, which can result in slow response times and lost messages.

Network latency can create inconsistent flow of data between the vehicle and cloud.

Bidirectional data movement is essential for connected a car platform, yet it is challenging to move data from the car to the cloud and back again with millions of connected cars.

Scaling up to support millions of vehicles with simultaneous connections in a reliable manner is a challenge, especially during peak usage periods.

Securing the connected car is essential to make sure hackers can’t get control of any vehicle.

Integration with enterprise systems such as OEM and supply chain partners can be cumbersome but is essential for connected vehicles.

HiveMQ and MQTT Lay the Foundation for Connected Car

An open-standards-based architecture using an IoT protocol that can solve these challenges is ideal when building a connected car platform. Existing web technologies are not well suited for unreliable networks and bidirectional data movement.

HiveMQ introduces a new publish/subscribe style of architecture for the connected car platform. Based on the IoT standard MQTT, the HiveMQ enterprise platform implements the architectural features required to build and deploy a scalable, reliable and secure connected car platform including the following features:

Always-on client connection: The MQTT publish/subscribe architecture allows for each vehicle to be decoupled from other vehicles and back-end services and enables a persistent, always-on push connection to the cloud. When a network connection is available a vehicle will publish data to the HiveMQ MQTT broker and will receive subscribed data from the same broker in near real-time. If a network connection is not available, the vehicle will wait until the network is available before attempting to transit data. While the vehicle is offline the HiveMQ broker will buffer data and as soon as the vehicle is back online immediately deliver the data.

Reliable data delivery: HiveMQ implements three message delivery quality of service levels, including at most once, at least once and exactly once delivery. This makes it possible to create connected car services that function in a reliable manner. HiveMQ’s support for advanced message retention policies and offline message queuing are essential to accommodating network latency and unreliable mobile networks.

Secure clients: Cars running MQTT clients are not addressable over the Internet. The MQTT client running on each car is responsible for establishing a secure persistent TCP connection, using TLS, with the MQTT broker in the cloud. This means no public Internet endpoint is exposed on the car so no one can directly connect to the car. This makes it virtually impossible for a car to be directly attacked by a hacker on the Internet. HiveMQ supports industry security standards, like TLS, to ensure communication from the vehicle to the cloud is encrypted.

Elastic scalability: HiveMQ is designed to automatically scale up and down the number of cluster nodes required to service millions of connected cars. HiveMQ is based on a masterless cluster architecture that allows device connections to be distributed across the cluster nodes. This means the user does not see any change in user experience when nodes are started or stopped since the car can resume its session on any of the remaining cluster nodes.

Real-time fleet monitoring: The HiveMQ control center console allows administrators to monitor a fleet of connected vehicles. An overall summary dashboard gives an operation team the complete real-time overview of the HiveMQ broker cluster and general system health. Administrators can use the HiveMQ control center to monitor real-time data between the vehicle and the cloud platform. An administrator can query the status of each vehicle, remotely disconnect a vehicle and reset the MQTT message subscriptions for a vehicle

Multi-cloud support: HiveMQ embraces a multi-cloud strategy with flexible deployment options. This is especially important for companies that need to have control over the proximity of the data processing and data storage. HiveMQ can be deployed to public cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP), private cloud native orchestration platforms (OpenShift, DC/OS or Kubernetes), and native on-premise deployments (Linux, Windows and OS X).

By Ravi Subramanyan, Director of Industry Solutions, HiveMQ

Ravi is the Director of Industry Solutions for Manufacturing at HiveMQ. His expertise covers smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things(IIoT) in industries such as Mining, O&G, Industrial Automation and Automotive.

About Digital Revolution In Connected Cars 2023

The 2nd Digital Revolution in Connected Cars in Hilton Munich City, Germany on 22-23 March 2023 is dedicated to the entire Connected Car community including policymakers, business leaders, leading OEMs, Car Manufacturing companies, investors and all Connected Cars enthusiasts to gain invaluable industry insights, exchange critical business knowledge and engage in constructive discussions across 2 days of the event.

The conference will provide a perfect platform for both businesses & governments to unveil their sustainability initiatives & schemes, exchange hands-on knowledge about the latest plans and answer all the intricate questions from the most-relevant audience in a highly collaborative business setting.

We look forward to meeting you in Hilton Munich City, Germany!

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