"The Zoom of Automotive Testing." One supplier’s solution to working from home.
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
As some larger automotive economies such as the UK enter an unprecedented third lockdown, technology companies such as the US supplier Intrepid Control systems demonstrate how advanced engineering can be achieved when working from home. Intrepid offers a range of tools that allow the user to access Data, Test Cells, Benches, Vehicles, and Test Fleets, and the company points out that users can access and work on data even from home.
Engineering professionals can face several challenges when working from home, especially when there is a test cell, bench, or vehicle for which they need to gain access. A user could find that they cannot "remote in" to a local PC for whatever reason. Management can feel this pain more acutely —they need to try and keep their team productive. Still, the cybersecurity and technical challenges to access testing data, benches, and vehicles may stop them from continuing to work as efficiently.
A user may need to regularly access vast amounts of data that could likely be confidential and risky to allow engineers to access remotely. "Sneaker-net" is impractical, so what happens if your storage media gets lost or misplaced? Even if they find a device with high-bandwidth logging and high storage capacity, how do they offload and analyse terabytes of data? Moving all this data around is very inefficient. Some engineers may be lucky enough to have a test bench or test vehicle at their home (yes, some do. How does the engineer solve the problem of getting all that data to the rest of their team members? It cannot be easy to store large quantities of test data on a home computer or laptop, and it will most likely take lots of time to upload to servers for other teams to access it.
Gathering data manually is labor-intensive, and getting the vehicle in hand is challenging for some engineers. It would be great if the engineer could avoid having to physically access their data logger device multiple times, offloading data, updating scripts, and exporting data manually? Instead, an engineer could plug in their device once and fully remote control that device from home, Export data automatically as it is sent, and Post-process data without downloading the data to a computer. Intrepid says that its Wireless neoVI system allows an engineer all those advantages. Still, in addition to sending vehicle data to a company’s secure server using 4G or Wi-Fi, the loggers give the user full control of their device remotely. This includes changing the logger script from the comfort of the engineer’s home.
Instantly analyze and share your data.
Wireless neoVI has an optional feature for data analytics called DataSpy. This will allow the user to process and analyze all of their signals in a single view from a dozen to hundreds without having to download any data sets. Intrepid says, “It's like having social media for data analytics because you don't have to wait for handoffs, software installation, or emailing data back and forth with screenshots when all your team members or suppliers can simply share a link to the DataSpy view." For example, if hundreds of test vehicles have a battery drain problem, and the engineer wants the team to see a specific data set, the engineer would use DataSpy. Users highlight and pinpoint any data and share the view instantly with their team members. The process is swift, and a team can dive further into the data set. Intrepid says that when using Wireless neoVI with DataSpy, it makes a project work easy and secure for all team members to collaborate and analyze data at home.
Intrepid released a video during its 2020 virtual tech day, demonstrating how to capture from your captive test fleet and remote test-benches remotely.
Intrepid Control systems offer useful insights into how engineers can test from home. They have released the article “Say Goodbye to Manual Data Logging and Say Hello to Cloud Testing!”