General Motors has partnered with San Francisco-based networking company Cisco to deploy its wireless communication technology on test vehicles at its Milford Proving Ground in Michigan, allowing engineers to receive and analyze vehicle data in real-time.
Through this partnership, GM will be the first automaker to deploy Cisco’s wireless backhaul technology “for real-time, high-speed performance testing of pre-production vehicles,” the automaker says. This technology can send data from the vehicle sensors to the GM engineering team while it’s on track testing, allowing them to analyze the vehicle’s various systems and make adjustments to them. Previously, GM would store vehicle data locally, download it at its engineering centers once the on-track portion of testing was finished and then make the necessary changes.
Stephen Jenkins, Director of Global Labs, Proving Grounds Operations, and Materials Engineering at GM, said the deployment of Cisco’s wireless backhaul tech will shorten development times for future GM vehicles.
“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,” Jenkins said. “This connectivity allows us to perform real-time analysis and stream information directly into our Enterprise Data Center without any buffering or human intervention.”
While many of GM’s vehicles were already connected via its 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot technology, this system cannot be used to transfer data in real-time. GM says 4G LTE Wi-Fi cannot reliably send vehicle data while the vehicle is travelling at high speed, so it had to tap Cisco for more advanced internet connectivity technology. Vikas Butaney, Chief Product Officer at Cisco, says its latest wireless backhaul tech will facilitate advanced communication in the cars of the future, including vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connections.
“Innovative technologies like Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul are fundamental to achieving ubiquitous connectivity in cars, smart cities and beyond,” he explained. “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.”