Bugatti and Telemetry
Imagine that if you were driving along in your car and got a phone call from a service technician telling you the pressure in your left front tire was a bit low and should be brought up to spec at the next convenient time.
If you drive a Bugatti Chiron, that’s something that is likely to happen, assuming that you opt in to this telemetry-based service.
According to Hendrik Malinowski, Director of Sales and Operations Molsheim, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., “With our telemetry system, we can provide our customers with assistance in all technical matters related to their Bugatti. At any hour of the day, and, if necessary, also of the night.”
Norbert Uffmann, who is now responsible for the development of the telemetry system at Bugatti, says that the company has been offering a version of this capability since 2004, in the Veyron 16.4. “Bugatti,” he claims, “is the first automobile manufacturer to apply telemetry on a production vehicle.”
Uffmann and his colleagues in the Bugatti Technical Development Department work with Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr (IAV), a German firm, on the technology.
Cars are fitted with an aluminum box measuring 140 x 50 x 100 mm that contains eight vehicle networks and which records diagnostic information from as many as 30 control units in the vehicle.
The system in a Chiron monitors about 10,000 signals from the engine, transmission, lights, air conditioning, and infotainment system. It sends information back to Bugatti on a real-time basis.
Should the owner have a problem that is not readily resolved, Bugatti has three “flying doctors,” one each for the regions of Europe/Russia, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific, and North America. They can be called into play, flying to the rescue, either meeting the vehicle at one of the 34 Bugatti dealerships around the world, or at the owner’s home. The flying doctors don’t need to be sitting in a control room monitoring the status of vehicles; if there is a proverbial red flag, they are alerted via their smart phones.
Malinowski notes, “This is a highly personal concierge service of the type you normally only find in luxury hotels.” The sort of luxury hotel that someone who buys a $2,998,000 Chiron is likely to frequent.
This is not a piece of modern art: Rather, it is an image from Blackmore Sensors and Analytics of Bozeman, Montana, micro-Doppler signatures of pedestrians (or maybe that’s a pedestrian, singular) walking (see it now?). Blackmore is a company that is developing FMCW lidar.
The thing about the Wrangler Willys Wheeler: It is a toy for a grown-up boy.
From the point of view of structural engineering and assembly, electric vehicles are a whole lot simpler than those with internal combustion engines, which probably goes a long way to explain why there are so many startups showing EVs.