VDS RACING: A CASE STUDY
Global Race Tracking Solution Delivers Real-Time Information and Improved Safety
Race tracking solutions enable sporting event organisers to deliver real time race statistics to eager sports fans. They also play an important role in race safety and security. Knowing the location of competitors, how they are performing, and if they are in trouble is critical for high speed races, particularly over open and rough terrain.
Tracking rally car races was notoriously difficult and very expensive until VDS Technology (VDS) introduced a more cost-effective solution called VDS Racing. Following significant growth, the company is now recognised as a leading supplier of race tracking solutions. With a vision for global expansion, in this highly competitive market, the company recognised the need to update their existing IT systems and trackers in order to reduce costs.
VDS embarked on a journey to create a comprehensive turnkey race tracking solution and engaged a specialist developer in tracking applications. They also sourced new tracking devices from all over the world, but the suppliers didn’t provide SIM cards. With global expansion in mind, they needed SIMs that could be easily deployed in multiple locations as far apart as France to Guadeloupe.
Working together to carry out a successful trial VDS understood the importance of the a SIM with MULTI-IMSI capability to their global deployment. Not only did it increase uptime from their devices thanks to the 99.8% connectivity, but it also ensured that they only needed one device SKU would work globally.
April 2019 saw the 60th anniversary of the Pays De Grasse Rally in France. This year was celebrated with a vintage car race the day before the main race. VDS Racing Solution was deployed using the Eseye AnyNet SIM to track 104 rally cars in this historic race. The race attracts competitors from around the world and this year saw Olivier and Claire Galli take first place on the podium in their Volkswagen Golf 1 GTI.
Now over 400 VDS race tracking devices are SIM-enabled, allowing VDS to rapidly deploy trackers using the Eseye web interface and capture relevant race data. Implementing the Multi-IMSI SIM means that VDS can now deploy its tracking devices quickly and easily, with confidence, anywhere in the world.
Races cross physical borders, but also into areas with challenging cellular network coverage, which could make it more difficult to track races. With the new devices VDS Racing was used in a rally car race across Northern Africa and easily tracked competitors across wide open expanses and different countries. The Multi-IMSI Secure SIM and connectivity service offers automatic network switching to guarantee high levels of connectivity, which is perfect for our customers’ needs, ”
says Ballet. He continues,
VDS has 1000 geolocation tracking devices that can be rented by race organisers and 400 of these trackers now use the Multi-IMSI SIM. About 80% of our business is currently motor racing but moving forward all new trackers will be SIM-enabled. ”
VDS has been able to remain competitive while expanding its global reach to deliver a comprehensive, turnkey, race tracking solution to sporting event organisers. Embedding trackers with the Multi-IMSI SIM is helping the company to continually explore new sports and develop new opportunities.
COSTA EXPRESS: A CASE STUDY
Eseye helps Costa Express deliver premium quality drinks globally
Costa Coffee is a leading provider of premium quality drinks in a highly competitive and continually evolving market. Hungry for growth and thriving on innovation the introduction of Costa Express and self-service vending machines has enabled the brand to extend its reach and rapidly increase market share.
The concept of ‘on-the-go’ coffee has since enabled the company to dramatically increase its brand profile and reach. Yet, as a premium brand it’s critical that the machines match the quality, service and experience delivered through barista-made coffee in store. A commanding reputation, a strong track-record in innovation combined with ambitious future plans meant that Costa Express needed to deploy an end-to-end IoT service, bringing together best-of-breed services across a range of experienced suppliers. Our partner has supported the company in deploying IoT-enabled vending machines, with confidence, and on a global scale.
Plans for international expansion and the need to transfer data in real-time led Costa Express to explore a variety of IoT solutions. Following conversations and trials with a range of cellular and modem providers the company contacted our present partner - a global provider of IoT managed services – to discuss their resilient connectivity solutions in their irrigation controllers to guarantee their installations continue to thrive!
The fully redundant fault-tolerant network provides a managed connectivity service with a global footprint, whilst support for multiple cellular networks in each geographical region enables close to 100% connectivity uptime. This means that we can deploy connected devices and deliver premium quality drinks virtually anywhere in the world. A real advantage as the company is seeking to expand rapidly across international markets ”
Systems & Data Director,
Costa Express initially investigated several connectivity solutions, including on-site Ethernet or over-the-air (OTA) cellular connection. However, Ethernet meant relying on the site owner – often a convenience store or forecourt operator – and increased connectivity risk. For example, a modem failing would result in a failed connection, and could lead to lost business, frustrated customers, and trigger a costly engineer site visit.
Costa Express’s strategy to deliver barista-quality coffee requires the same high-quality ingredients as stores, which means that machine upkeep and uptime are critical to deliver quality drinks every time. So, finding a real-time, robust and reliable connectivity solution was critical to Costa Express who were monitoring their machines using an IoT solution based on the Centresight platform. This level of monitoring is vital to ensure a premium experience, faultless payment capture, swift maintenance, and no delays in restocking fresh ingredients.
The Multi-IMSI SIM trial was immediately successful and allowed Costa Express to simplify their supply chain across IoT design, build and ongoing management stages.
The Multi-IMSI SIM connects to any available mobile network, enabling cellular data access anywhere and communication to the back-end systems as soon as one of the 9,000 plus machines is powered on.
The services on the embedded device not only include connection but also healthmonitoring, local time synchronization and data route information. This reliable exchange of real-time data reduces the total cost of ownership and allows Costa Express to be more proactive. They can act swiftly to ensure site staff replenish milk and coffee levels, and that important machine functionality such as coffee grinder or boiler performance is regularly monitored.
The Centresight platform ultimately works on a store-and-forward basis for telemetry, so that machines can carry on serving if the connection is lost.
Eseye also demonstrated to Costa Express that its router with cellular capability and AnyNet Secure multi-IMSI SIM was able to handle over a hundred transactions in rapid succession.
With machine-to-machine and IoT markets you need a product that you can deploy quickly and efficiently in the field. Yet, you also want to minimise ongoing maintenance by delivering a high quality and low touch solution that maximises your profits ”
POSITEC WORX: A CASE STUDY
Enabling Product Innovation and Global Growth with Reliable and Scalable IoT connectivity solutions
Positec initially were an OEM manufacturer and supplier of DIY tools to global brands which led to rapid company growth. As individual brands started to establish manufacturing capability, Positec decided to launch their own consumer brand of DIY tools. Passionate and committed to creating innovative products that make customers’ lives easier, Positec’s launch was the beginning of a transformational journey.
Worx products are available at nearly all home improvement retail stores in Europe and North America, including the world’s 10 largest home improvement retailers.
Positec are now recognised as a leading provider of tools to the retail home improvement market, and are the second largest supplier of robotic lawnmowers globally.
Unreliable Wi-Fi connectivity led to IoT innovation
Identifying an opportunity to improve garden maintenance Positec launched the ‘Landroid’ robotic lawn mower in 2011. Once programmed through an App to establish the garden size and using Wi-Fi connectivity, the Landroid could mow the lawn without any human interaction. It was optimized using AIA® navigation technology that dramatically reduced the mowing time, and later on the ACS® anti-collision system that steers around instead of bumping into obstacles, as with many competing products.
However, breaking new ground in robotic lawn mower innovation brought with it several challenges. Establishing the device on Wi-Fi could be difficult for a user having to navigate passwords and router configuration. Connectivity in large gardens could also be patchy, resulting in the lawn mower losing touch with the router and sending regular error messages to the owner. Positec looked for technologies to solve the problem.
We ran tests with leading telecoms providers in Europe that we had discovered in our IoT research. We learned that our chosen supplier's SIM could work across multiple technologies, including Cat 1 and 2G, but also automatically switch network carriers based on available signals, which means our mowers would always remain connected. ”
says Davide Dal Frà, Head of Engineering and Innovation at Positec.
With mowers being shipped anywhere in the world the desire to create a single device Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) was high, because of the significantly improved deployment and management efficiency a single SKU brings. Positec also wanted an embedded Chip SIM welded into the hardware module to achieve a smaller footprint in the device.
The company needed a cellular solution that would work regardless of where the lawn mowers were distributed, but particularly in prominent markets such as North America and Europe.
The partnership has led to the creation of an IoT device with embedded SIM that provides near 100% connectivity and works almost anywhere in the world. The cellular element is encased in a playing card sized box that when installed in the latest Worx Wi-Fi connected Lawn Mowers enables an IoT upgrade and for future Worx Lawn Mowers the device will be either built in or sold as an optional accessory. Previously, the Landroid was complex to set up but now the user simply slots in the upgrade, scans a QR code, and the lawn mower is automatically connected to the account.
Creating life-enhancing and innovative IoT products
The Multi-Network SIM is a real enabler and although a cutting schedule can be programmed into the Landroid, the IoT capability means the Landroid can track local weather stations, monitor mowing conditions and decide when the lawn needs mowing. Dal Frà is enthusiastic about ongoing product development,
In effect, improved connectivity allows information to be shared via the App. Intelligence is also sent to our AWS Cloud environment, stored and analysed. This provides valuable statistics and delivers optimised mowing instructions to individual devices, and also provisions for shared intelligence and learning. All mower activities are tracked and suggestions for improvement are sent to each owner to further enhance mowing performance. ”
IoT capability also solves another issue – theft. The US has seen a massive spike in lawn mower thefts, but IoT connectivity has enabled us to introduce a new feature ‘Find My Landroid’. This alerts the owner if their lawn mower is removed from the premises and enables them to lock and locate it, ” says Dal Frà.