The other day I received a notice from my automobile insurance company explaining how I could reduce my premiums by putting a device in my car that would monitor my speed, braking, and other driving habits. It’s highly likely you have received similar notices or heard about such discounts. Insurance carriers are all racing to implement what’s commonly referred to as usage-based insurance (UBI) models to be more competitive, encourage safe driving practices, reward customers for good driving behavior, and collect better data for determining rates across their customer base.
Axeda, an Affiliate member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance, offers UBI solutions as part of its cloud-based M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) services (Figure 1). System integrators, such as Modus (formerly Walsh Vision) use the Axeda Machine Cloud to deliver end-to-end UBI solutions for insurance carriers.
The other day I saw a press release about Axeda seizing the potential of the Intel® Quark™ SoC X1000 series to provide low-cost, low-power edge device solutions. I decided to look into how Axeda is helping system integrators use this new SoC to design more rugged, more reliable, smaller footprint UBI units for vehicles.
Figure 1. Axeda provides flexible, optimized and secure M2M and IoT services that enable system integrators and developers to establish connectivity between their devices or assets and the Axeda Machine Cloud.
In this post, I first look at Axeda’s overall UBI solution. I then examine on how Axeda is using the Intel® Galileo board, which is based on the Intel Quark SoC X1000, to extend the reach of the IoT, broaden service options, and reduce the cost and complexity of connecting and developing intelligent products for UBI applications and onboard fleet management systems.
Axeda Usage-Based Insurance Solutions
One way to understand Axeda’s UBI solutions is to look at how Esurance, a leading auto insurance carrier, uses a comprehensive and cost-effective UBI program designed by Modus that leverages the Axeda Machine Cloud. Collecting data from driver-installed devices, the solution allows Esurance to monitor driver performance and set insurance policy rates based on data processed and delivered by Axeda. The solution tracks car speeds, idling time, parking locations, distances traveled, hard stops, and other parameters. Drivers that participate in the UBI program can review their activity in a web browser and visual dashboard (Figure 2).
Axeda’s UBI cloud solutions are designed to connect remote on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) devices and vehicles to enable managing the driving behavior data, integrating the data with enterprise systems, and developing new innovative “connected vehicle” applications. The solutions offer a number of innovative features and benefits:
· A reference UBI solution and architecture for fast-time-to-market
· Device flexibility to enable the use of any OBD-II device or a mix of devices within a single application (devices are abstracted from the data management layer and application APIs)
· A platform approach with web services and APIs that enable rapid development of new applications and easy integration with other business systems
· A management console for easy provisioning, configuration, administration, SIM management, device management and vehicle monitoring
· A scalable solution proven to handle hundreds of thousands of devices
· A lower cost of ownership based on world-class cloud infrastructure and services
How It Works
Systems integrators can use the Axeda Machine Cloud to connect large numbers of devices (data trackers and cellular modems) certified and available via the Axeda Ready program. Alternatively, integrators can work with Axeda to rapidly certify and add new devices to the Axeda Ready device list.
Once a device is configured and provisioned, it collects data defined by the insurance carrier and sends that data to the Axeda AnyDevice Service running in the Axeda Machine Cloud. This data is sent over a cellular network and can be stored and accessed securely in the Axeda Cloud or delivered to the insurance carrier’s back office systems and connected vehicle applications.
Axeda provides a rich set of APIs to enable development of innovative “connected vehicle” applications, customer dashboards and mobile smart phone or tablet applications. Axeda can also provide data feed services to deliver the data into back-office systems and in-house data repositories.
Speeding UBI In-Car Devices to Market
To enable faster development of UBI devices that can connect to the Axeda Machine Cloud, Intel and Axeda recently developed the Axeda Go Kit for the Intel® Galileo board. The kit enables developers to quickly and easily connect an Intel® Galileo board to the Axeda Machine Cloud, provision the device on the Axeda Machine Cloud developer site, and install the Axeda Agent code into an Intel Galileo board workspace. By enabling quick and easy integration with the Axeda Machine Cloud, the Axeda Go Kit provides a valuable development shortcut. This shortcut helps reduce the cost and complexity of connecting and developing intelligent products based on the Intel Quark SoC 1000X series for UBI applications and onboard fleet management systems, extending the reach of the IoT and broadening customer options.
Intel® Galileo Board Development Platform
With a 100 x 70 mm open source hardware design, the Intel Galileo board (Figure 3) provides simple and cost-effective development environment for UBI designs. In addition to its Intel Quark SoC, the board includes a full-sized mini-PCI Express* slot, 100 Mb Ethernet port, Micro-SD slot, RS-232 serial port, USB host port, USB client port, and 8 Mbyte NOR Flash*. Axeda Ready certification of the Intel Galileo board and Intel Quark SoC X1000 Series processor assures compatibility with the Axeda Machine Cloud.
The Intel™ Quark SoC X1000 Series
At the heart of the Intel Galileo board is the Intel Quark SoC X1000 series. Designed for emerging applications in markets such as transportation, energy, and industrial control, the Intel Quark SoC X1000 series is a perfect fit for intelligent IoT UBI in-car devices. It extends the use of Intel® processors to the extreme edge, providing developers with a consistent platform from car to cloud. Based on Intel’s smallest core, the Intel Quark SoC features a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of just 2.2 watts and includes built-in security and reliability features, making it superbly suited to small footprint, headless designs in thermally constrained environments.
The Intel Quark SoC X1000 series delivers its Intel processor compute capabilities and software compatibility in a groundbreaking 15mm x 15mm SoC. It features a 32-bit, single-core, single-thread Intel® Pentium® instruction set architecture (ISA)-compatible CPU operating at speeds up to 400 MHz. Integration of I/O interfaces, clocks, and voltage regulator simplifies design and minimizes external components to reduce BOM. The rich I/O capabilities include two on-chip Ethernet* interfaces, PCI Express*, USB 2.0, SD/SDIO/eMMC, SPI, UART, and I2C/GPIO. The SoC seamlessly interfaces to sensors and various memory options through several expansion ports.
Hardware-enabled security and manageability enhancements include a secure boot on-die ROM. This feature enables endpoint and content security, ensuring that only chosen software runs on a device. Extended temperature (-40° C - +85° C) and DDR3 memory with error-correcting code (ECC) options, as well as 10-year lifecycle support, add to this SoC’s ability to meet the needs of a wide range of transportation market needs.
More to Come
UBI services are just one way to use the low power, small footprint advantages of the Intel Quark SoC X1000 series and the Intel Galileo board. In transportation, for instance, the costs of offering, managing, and covering recalls and warranties are also significant. Using data from IoT edge devices could be, and is, a great way to reduce these costs and automate tasks such as product registration, usage reporting, and claim management. Companies are also looking for intelligent IoT devices that can analyze machine data and enable predictive maintenance. My guess in the near future is that you’ll be hearing a lot more about Axeda and its Machine Cloud solutions tapping the advantages of Intel processors as organizations seek innovative ways to harness the ever-increasing amounts of data from the physical world and use it to drive smarter decisions, enable new services and business models, and reduce costs.
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Solutions in this blog:
· Internet of Things and Big Data - Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
· Energy Efficiency - Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
· Sensing and Analytics - Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
· Transportation & IVI - Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
Axeda is an Affiliate member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance.
Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance
Associate Editor, Embedded Innovator magazine