Automotive

Around the world in 80 days by electric motorcycle – part 4 – real-time reporting

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In this blog series, business partners elaborate on how they experienced the StormWave research project thus far. The project involves 23 students from Eindhoven University building an electric motorcycle to cover 40,000 kilometers in 80 days. Recently, NXP shared their contribution to this promising IoT story, as well as KPN and Tomtom. Today we hear Itility, a fast growing IT services supplier in Eindhoven, that contributed two dashboards that were fed by data from sensors, placed in numerous mechanical and electronical components within the motor.

A new way to display real-time data

Xander Janssen, project manager at Itility, emphasizes that the current focus of Itility lies in developing new R&D innovations, especially communications solutions between hardware and smart software (as part of the Internet of Things). STORM provided the ideal opportunity for Itility to test a new way of displaying real-time data, as the information systems of all STORM partners have been integrated seamlessly in a very short time-frame. For example, the sensors in the battery pack show the temperature, current and voltage of every independent cell. This makes it possible to observe the functioning of a particular battery or a combination of batteries. Along with real-time insights from numerous other components, it enables the dashboard to report and predict which parts of the motor function well and which parts urgently need to be replaced.

stormpulse electric motorcylce cornersOn the road with the StormWave electric motorcycle

This proved to be an invaluable asset according to Maarten Slenter, student and software engineer at STORM: “Thanks to the dashboards we created in collaboration with Itility, it’s possible for us and our public to receive clear information about our motors and the trip rapidly.”

Real-time visualisations available for everyone

Providing engineers with these insights obviously served an important goal, but Janssen wanted to take it a step further. The same data could be translated to clear, appealing visualizations targeted at a broader audience to boost awareness for the STORM world tour easily. By integrating the data into a publicly available display, everyone can access real-time insights like the travelled distance per stage, and average and max speed of the motors. Updates through social feeds provide a constant stream of tweets, photos and videos that add a contextual layer on top of the sensor data.

The latest video from the StormWave journey

Janssen is positive about the partnership thus far, and enjoys the innovative environment: ‘’Students make this project work. They are creative, energetic and have an outstanding mentality, which is something many companies can learn from. On the other hand, dare I say it, students can learn from us too! It turned out that we are more thoughtful about risk scenarios and possible future occurrences.”

The STORM World Tour began in the southern Netherlands city of Eindhoven; a route that circumnavigates the northern hemisphere, leaving Europe via Central Asia and then crossing North America before returning to Eindhoven on November 2.

The project is also supported by NXP, TomTom and The Weather Company, an IBM Business, who are featured in other blog posts in this series. You can follow the progress of the STORM project via the links below or catch up on part 1, part 2 or part 3 of the story or follow live at:

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