German Premiere: GlobalmatiX Telematics Solution for xTCU Telematics Interface – the New Dimension for the Fleet Management of the Future

  • Car to Cloud to Company data transmission and analysis with artificial intelligence
  • New perspectives and potential for non-brandspecific fleet management
  • Maximum data security thanks to proprietary 4G/5G wireless network and encryption technology
  • Detects minor damage and provides a damage report incl. the amount and cost of damage
  • Can be used wherever data has to be transmitted and analyzed

07. October 2021

Shared mobility is one of the major trends of future mobility, particularly in urban regions. Large fleet operators, such as rental car and car sharing companies, also see enormous growth potential in this area. However, an essential prerequisite for this is continual, precise knowledge not only of the location of every individual vehicle, but also of that vehicle’s overall technical condition. The medium-term goal of stationless and contactless fleet management needs new real-time diagnostics and reporting technologies for each vehicle in use. With around 255,000 rental and car sharing vehicles in Germany, “Car to Cloud to Company” will be a critical technology when it comes to efficient and inexpensive fleet deployment. This is why GlobalmatiX AG, a subsidiary of Softing AG, Munich/Haar, has developed an innovative telematics solution, which, with the help of artificial intelligence, offers the greatest amount of available data and transfer security on the market. Alongside standards such as location information and journey approval via app, the outstanding range of services includes continuous technical diagnosis of the entire vehicle, early detection of impending defects, as well as the detection of minor damage and – with the help of artificial intelligence – the reporting thereof in a damage report including a calculation of the cost of the damage. Thanks to individual data acquisition and reporting tailored to the needs of every particular fleet operator, the system can even be used for commercial vehicles, public transport systems, and in autonomous driving. GlobalmatiX CEO, Alois Widmann: “The very high volume of detailed vehicle data for all brands with high resolution enables digital analysis and use cases that, in the past, simply weren’t possible.”

The xTCU Gateway is a 4G/LTE/5G CAN data logger and GPS telematics interface specially developed for Car to Cloud to Company use cases. It is smaller than a smartphone and can be installed in any vehicle in just a few minutes, thus enabling the acquisition of OBD data or diagnostic data from the ECUs. The telematics box certified according to CE, eMark and RED in the EU enables access to a wide range of vehicle data in rich quality – regardless of the vehicle brand. With it, GlobalmatiX offers a previously unreached level of security against unauthorized access by third parties with its innovative encryption technology and proprietary 4G/LTE/5G wireless network.

In other words, GlobalmatiX xTCU can acquire and analyze virtually all data measured by the vehicle’s ECUs, supplemented by state-of-the-art GPS tracking, and transmit the information to the vehicle operator “over the air” almost in real time. With the help of artificial intelligence in the Big Data Cloud, a qualified analysis of vehicle data, events and changes to the ideal state is now possible for the first time and can be sent to the vehicle management system – in as detailed a form as the fleet operator desires.

Areas of Implementation (Selection):

Fleet operators, such as rental car, subscription and car sharing companies, receive information on the following, almost in real time:

  • the technical condition of the vehicle (vehicle diagnostics),
  • the functional and performance capability of the battery incl. advance warning in the case of diminishing performance,
  • the tire pressure (if the air pressure is too low, this significantly increases tire wear),
  • the current tank content or battery charge level in the case of e-vehicles,
  • the detection and analysis of minor damage (see explanation below),
  • necessary maintenance measures (predictive maintenance) to avoid later damage,
  • location of the vehicle as well as route and distance covered by the last user (electronic logbook),
  • theft detection and vehicle location,
  • current vehicle usage data (e.g. mileage, technical vehicle condition and service requirements),
  • provision of an electronic vehicle résumé for optimal fleet management with usage and maintenance analyses as well as a digital valuation report for resale,
  • the time in calendar days and mileage until the next maintenance and inspection.

The xTCU also offers “over the air” bidirectional data transmission for:

  • Keyless2Go vehicle access for the designated user (smartphone app),
  • remote vehicle maintenance and upkeep,
  • automatic disposition and data link with the booked user.

GlobalmatiX creates a digital vehicle résumé (CarCV), which can be used when it comes to reselling the vehicle as it provides a comprehensive overview for valuation as well as buyer information.

Detecting Minor Damage

Up to 90% of all minor accidents are not discovered when rental cars are returned as the car bumper has sprung back into its original state and position. This is problematic as this area can be subject to quite considerable damage. The xTCU interface detects this damage and, using the software developed by GlobalmatiX partner Spearhead AG, Zurich, provides an individual damage report based on the vehicle model incl. an estimate of the costs of the damage within seconds. Millions of pieces of historic and recent accident and assessor data from the Stuttgart-based expert organization DEKRA SE provide the basis for this.

Cees van Dijk, CEO of Spearhead AG, Zurich: “GlobalmatiX, with its highly sensitive telematics box, is the first company to be able to deliver the extensive volume of data we need for digital accident analysis to our cloud system in real time.”

The benefits for rental car and car sharing companies are:

  • digital recording, classification and processing of the damage,
  • digitalization of the damage report (previously several days were required, now in real time),
  • correct assignment of the damage to the party responsible and transparent, fair settlement of recovery costs,
  • millions of euros saved (depending on the size of the fleet) with clear, unambiguous identification of the party responsible,
  • savings from assessor costs that are not necessary.

The GlobalmatiX telematics solution thus offers a reliable basis for the stationless and contactless use of rental and car sharing vehicles. The detailed recording of the current condition of a particular vehicle before it is next rented out saves the otherwise necessary inspection at a station, and thus additional personnel costs, without jeopardizing the level of quality that customers expect today. At the same time, this helps reduce the idle time of rental cars.

The companies see great potential for cost savings in the future, particularly in contactless lessor-lessee management, while at the same time improving customer service. The xTCU telematics interface is the key to achieving these goals.

Successful Premiere with Enterprise/Switzerland: Millions to be Saved

Enterprise in Switzerland was the first rental car company to carry out an extensive test run with GlobalmatiX; in June 2021, they concluded a long-term contract on the use of the telematics interface. After an evaluation of the results, the outcome is convincing in several areas: “Our major digital challenge is detecting and settling minor damage,” says Marco Venturini, CEO of Enterprise Switzerland. “Previous solutions based on expert opinions were simply too late, too time-consuming and too expensive. The GlobalmatiX telematics solution, in conjunction with the MSS Holding AG software customized to suit rental car management, is a great help in settling these cases of minor damage and at the same time implementing vehicle diagnostics for all our brands.”

If you take a look at the statistics, you will see that a rental car has four incidences of minor damage a year on average, with repairs totaling around EUR 6,000. In comparison, the costs for the xTCU Gateway, the installation and the annual telematics costs constitute only around one tenth of the repair costs not chargeable by the company. In the case of the fleet sizes of rental and car sharing companies, this represents millions in saved costs every year.

To make these services possible, GlobalmatiX has not only engaged in a partnership with Spearhead AG, Zurich, for the diagnosis and assessment of minor damage. A further partner is MSS Holding AG, Zurich, a comprehensive mobility provider, as well as the licensees Enterprise, National and Alamo in Switzerland. This is where an extensive “Digital Connected Car” concept was developed as a management platform for vehicle fleets.

There are currently four telematics applications in use which are of great significance for lessors and operators of passenger car and van fleets:

  • remote vehicle diagnostics and predictive maintenance,
  • accident detection and automatic claims handling,
  • complete résumé file (CarCV) for vehicles,
  • keyless door opening for rental vehicles.

Andreas Buhl, President of MSS Holding AG: “The multi-brand capability, the modular and tailor-made applications for all vehicles over the xTCU interface, the high data resolution as well as the extent of applications over only one box were decisive in our awarding the contract to GlobalmatiX. By using the GlobalmatiX telematics solution, we have established the basis for digitizing our Connected Car concept. This will enable us to simplify complex return processes in a customer-friendly way and make them more cost-effective. Creating a résumé increases the resale value of our vehicles and facilitates marketing before the vehicle is returned. Furthermore, keyless access to the vehicle allows us to put rental on the road.”

Use in Car Insurance Companies

The individualization of policy offers does not stop at vehicle insurance. In the form of Vario tariffs, insurance companies already offer tariffs that take into account the individual driving style of the person insured. Here too, the xTCU Gateway is the appropriate interface between the driver, vehicle and insurance company. By combining GPS road data and information on the driver’s individual driving behavior, it is possible to create predictable driving profiles that can then be used in a scoring model to evaluate defensive, sporty or aggressive driving behavior. According to the scaling, car insurance companies will be able to create individual offers in the future that not only evaluate the vehicle, but also the driving style. On the one hand, knowing there is constant digital monitoring could well be an educational measure, particularly for new drivers, and, on the other, it could also mean more favorable rates if they drive in a traffic-friendly and considerate way.

Use in Fleet Management

Alois Widmann, CEO GlobalmatiX: “We have developed a smart telematics box to be used for several brands in large fleets. It is not only easy and quick to install, but also records diagnostic signals at extremely high sampling rates and combines them with telematics data. From everywhere in the world, the data acquired is transferred to and analyzed in the Big Data Cloud of our partner Spearhead in real time via mobile radio. The fleet manager can act immediately on the basis of these results. This innovative telematics solution with just one box makes sure that the ongoing total costs for large fleets are significantly reduced.”

This means that the GlobalmatiX telematics solution can be used all over the world with a smartphone or web app for practically all fleet sizes in the areas passenger cars, commercial vehicles and public transport as a telematics gateway with GPS location detection, geofence, GPS odometer, theft detection, driver ID, driver profile, digital logbook separating private and business trips, and vehicle diagnostic data, incl. remote vehicle maintenance using OBD/UDS. The xTCU can deliver all data required by commercial fleet management today or process that data to suit customer requirements via the Big Data Cloud.

Areas of Application with Special Tasks and Objectives (Selection):

Through the ability to program and query individual requirements, the xTCU interface has already proved itself in special test operations.

Predictive Maintenance
A German city is using the xTCU in its public transport buses after having frequent problems with defective door openings and the failure of the air conditioning systems as an early warning system for predictive maintenance.

Prototype Tests
An automotive company equips its prototypes with a xTCU box to obtain all relevant data from the vehicles and drivers in real time as part of the pre-series test series. Regardless of which part of the world cars are driving in, the engineers both on site and in the development center receive all the data they require. Thanks to the possibility of bidirectional communication, the latest technical developments can be transmitted “over the air” at any time from the engineering center to a test vehicle. This saves time and costs.

Motor Racing
The xTCU interface is probably the most cost-effective solution for use in racing vehicles. As a telematics gateway and data logger, 50 standardized measured variables can be acquired and transmitted in real time thanks to high sampling rates. Even technical modifications that are not permitted, e.g. to the engine, can be quickly identified by the race organizers.

High-Resolution Pothole
Detection Due to the high sensitivity in the detection of impacts, loads or stress on the chassis with a 6-axis inertial sensor, it is possible, in conjunction with artificial intelligence and self-improving (ML) analytics, to measure vibrations caused by potholes and record them in maps. In this way, authorities can make qualitative assessments about the condition of the roads simply by driving on them.

Setup and Operation of a Campus 5G Network for Autonomous Driving
GlobalmatiX is a supplier in an industrial research project tasked with planning, extending and operating a partly public industrial area for the autonomous driving of electric buses in a non-public 5G mobile network. Here, the xTCU is used as a 5G CAN telematics and data logger gateway with GPS, geofencing and bus diagnostics in combination with the professional SMT measuring device from Softing. The project has been given public funding.

Monitoring of Electric Emergency Police Vehicles
GlobalmatiX has been tasked with the remote maintenance and upkeep of a city’s Opel Ampera-e emergency vehicles. As telematics gateway, the xTCU provides data on the logbook and vehicle diagnostics with “Status of Charge” (SoH) and “Status of Health” (StH).

Battery Tester
The GlobalmatiX telematics solution monitors all vehicle starting sequences, records these with up to 500 Hz and analyzes them in the cloud with AI technology as diagnostic feedback or real-time failure analysis. This enables battery manufacturers, for example, to obtain a precise overview in practical use.

Alois Widmann: “Even this small selection of individualized digital solutions in data acquisition, transmission, analysis using artificial intelligence in a Big Data Cloud and global real-time transmission to the customer shows that the xTCU would currently seem to be the most comprehensive telematics interface on the market. xTCU can be used virtually everywhere, not just in the mobility sector, where data needs to be collected and analyzed.”

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