Cisco and General Motors (GM) Combine Forces for the Future of Connectivity in Cars

  • General Motors is the first auto manufacturer to deploy Cisco wireless backhaul technology for real-time, high-speed performance testing of pre-production vehicles.
  • Cisco’s industrial wireless networking enables GM engineers to instantly analyze critical vehicle data to make faster, data-driven decisions.
  • Reliable and instant access to performance data is a critical advantage in the race to deliver electric and autonomous vehicles.

Cisco and General Motors are working together to modernize and automate the development process for performance testing vehicle development data, accelerating time-to-market for commercially ready vehicles.

Using Cisco’s wireless network architecture for real-time, pre-production performance testing at the GM Milford Proving Ground allows multiple GM test engineers to actively monitor several hundred data channels simultaneously during a test run, to observe vehicle operation parameters and modify the test as it’s being conducted to optimize results.

cisco gm

Accelerating Speed to Innovation

Real-time access to development data during vehicle performance testing had previously not been viable. Wireless LTE technology does not provide reliable connectivity when testing at high speeds. Instead, data was recorded locally and analyzed off-site. Test equipment or issues occurred frequently during driving sessions, and with no real time visibility, test engineers were required to re-run the same tests. The process exhausted time and resources.

Since deploying Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul for vehicle-to-trackside connectivity, GM engineers are now capturing data from vehicle sensors during performance testing in real time and adjusting the vehicle on the track, streamlining the process and saving time. GM is the first auto manufacturer to roll out this methodology, which can significantly reduce testing time.

Anthony Bolton, CIO & CTO, Global Telecommunication & End Use Services, Infrastructure & Development, General Motors, said:

As GM accelerates the shift to electric vehicles, every minute counts. Using the network and its data to accelerate our performance testing is the type of innovation that delivers real business value as we transition from automaker to platform innovator.

Driving Business Results with Cisco IoT Connectivity

Stephen Jenkins, Director Global Labs, Proving Grounds Operations, & Materials Engineering, said:

Since deploying Cisco wireless backhaul at the performance tracks of our Milford Proving Ground, we now have stable and secure wireless network connections in this environment where we have vehicle speeds that can exceed 100 mph. This connectivity allows us to perform real-time analysis and stream information directly into our Enterprise Data Center without any buffering or human intervention.

Cisco’s wireless backhaul technology combines the reliability and speed of fiber connectivity with the flexibility of wireless communications. It delivers up to 500 Mbps with ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth wireless with seamless handoffs and private mobile connectivity for mission critical applications.

Jenkins, added:

As we move toward our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, autonomous vehicle development is key. The ability to seamlessly transition between simulation and physical testing requires large amounts of data to move between systems quickly and efficiently. Cisco’s technology is helping to make this move a reality.

Michael Shannon, VP of engineering, Cisco IoT, said:

GM needed a mature solution to gain real-time visibility into vehicle test data, and they tested many technologies which all fell short. Since deploying Cisco wireless backhaul, GM was able to achieve the visibility needed to shorten engineering cycles – ultimately helping to greatly improve time to market for technical innovations.

Enabling Innovation on and off the Track

Vikas Butaney, Chief Product Officer & VP/GM, Cisco IoT, added:

Innovative technologies like Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul are fundamental to achieving ubiquitous connectivity in cars, smart cities and beyond. We are driving the future of connectivity with the network backbone to transform valuable data into actionable insights. This is a huge testament to how GM can change the way they address key customer transportation needs and redefine personal mobility.

Cisco’s industrial IoT networking portfolio includes a variety of wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, cellular 4G LTE/5G, LoRaWAN and wireless backhaul. These technologies enable businesses across industries to innovate at significantly faster speeds by providing the reliable, high-performing connectivity needed to connect operations.

This article was originally published by Cisco.


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