Creating a Safe and Reliable Software-Defined Vehicle
One of the top three German auto manufacturers has a software arm building a unified tech stack to deliver fast, reliable, and cost-efficient connected car services. They aim to build software-defined vehicles that seamlessly integrate the automotive experience to improve safety, sustainability, and the customer experience.
McKinsey estimates that the automotive software market is projected to more than double in size from $31 billion in 2019 to roughly $80 billion in 2030 - a compound annual growth rate of more than 9 percent. This growth is driven by a high share of connected vehicles and demand for modern features such as energy management for EVs, in-car payments, on-demand functions, location-based services, and music streaming.
The auto manufacturer had several requirements as they built out the tech stack for software-defined vehicles to take advantage of this market growth, including an IoT messaging platform that would support enterprise-grade reliability, interoperability, and extreme scalability. With more than 8 million cars delivered each year, they needed a solution that could grow with the fleet and support new use cases seamlessly.
Spotty User Experience Leads to Search for New IoT Messaging Solution
The auto manufacturer needed to build a unified software platform that could support pervasive connectivity and over-the-air updates for various brands, makes and models to continuously improve automotive digital experiences across the brand. They have multiple platforms around their connected car offerings and needed a technology that could handle a diverse set of IoT messaging requirements to meet all of their needs.
They were relying on a combination of HTTP and SMS which sometimes led to a suboptimal user experience, with extended delivery times and unreliable messaging. SMS can be unpredictable, taking up to 30 seconds or even more to respond, and HTTP has high latency and network costs due to the message size and number of messages required. They had an on-demand feature subscription but experienced some damage to their brand when some customers could not always access the on-demand service. The costs and lack of pervasive availability prompted a search for a more cost-effective, reliable, and efficient alternative.
MQTT is an IoT protocol ideal for moving data from remote devices. MQTT’s lightweight design, publish/subscribe approach and quality of service levels addressed the company’s reliability and efficiency requirements and would be ideal for software-defined vehicles.
They chose HiveMQ as an MQTT platform due to its enterprise-grade scalability, security, and reliability. HiveMQ has a great deal of experience in the automotive and connected car industry, making the solution a clear choice for the large scale required.
They deployed on AWS, with a 12-node cluster, in a way that enables the DevOps team to monitor the entire deployment with a dashboard for essential insights into the messaging infrastructure. HiveMQ helped them scale both vertically and horizontally, to enable more than 300 million concurrent subscriptions, 27 million MQTT sessions, and more than 6 million concurrent connections. The customer also needed to support an internal security authorization provider, and HiveMQ’s Extension SDK allowed them to build a custom integration for secure, seamless deployment.
The solution also helped the auto manufacturer overcome several technical challenges, such as shortcomings with their MQTT client implementation, by adding functionality on the broker.
Connecting More Than 10 Million Cars With HiveMQ
The auto manufacturer now onboards approximately 150,000 new vehicles per week to the automotive-group-wide platform and has more than 10 Million cars connected and always-on via HiveMQ for IoT messaging. The technology allows them to deliver a seamless customer experience, with no delays and high satisfaction ratings for their on-demand services.
HiveMQ powers several use cases from overview dashboards that show the status of the car, to driving data such as average speed and trip time, to vehicle health such as whether lights are working, oil status, anti-theft devices and more. Thanks to the power of HiveMQ and MQTT, all of these services can not only be offered in the car but also monitored via mobile app and online services.
The auto manufacturer has been able to monetize this data as well, offering customers free data plans up to a point and then charging for additional data usage. They also charge for premium services, such as remote heating, theft warnings, and more.
In addition, the switch from HTTP and SMS to MQTT and HiveMQ alone saved them millions of dollars considering the scale of the implementation. With HiveMQ they have a group platform, consistent across 10+ brands in 152 countries, allowing them to offer a scalable solution, better customer experience, and at a lower cost.