The Internet of Things (IoT) has been on the rise for years, so in 2018/2019 we decided it was time to take a serious look at how IoT could transform our vehicles: KTM Innovations launched a massive Proof of Concept. For 26 months, we’ve been using 9 end-to-end IoT platforms on 30 vehicles. Each of our products is different, so we’ve integrated everything from our bicycle to our X-bow. We tried and tested in Austria, Italy, Germany and Spain but also in Columbia, California and all the way to the border of Iran. One million kilometers have been ridden and tracked so far.
TESTING TO THE EDGE AND BACK
We looked at edge capabilities, networks, back-end functions, APIs, business applications as well as numerous use & business cases. How could we achieve maximum flexibility? Get the highest information density? Work across various channels? Incorporate firmware OTA updates? Deploy analytics to the edge, minimize the edge, and test edge capabilities? We wanted 24/7 monitoring, perfect fleet management and much more. So yes, we went in with tough goals and it turned out to be one hell of a ride.
ONE HELL OF A RIDE
In order to compare the different platforms properly we often had to mount 4 devices on the same bike. We then compared the data. This required creating feeds out of the various platforms into our own little IoT database and analytics platform. We worked with several startups on shared IP and other issues. We even built a special garage at our headquarters in Wels to mount and manage the IoT test bikes.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
We’d gone into this project with the expectation that this would be an easy task. IoT is used all around the world. It’s been developed for years, so clearly, it’s no longer rocket science, right? Well, the challenge turned out to be much bigger than we thought. Maybe this shouldn’t have come as a surprise: KTM builds tough bikes for tough riders in tough conditions. We need an IoT platform that can handle all that and still add value to our products. We finally feel that we’re on the right track now. And in the end, aren’t the toughest rides always the best ones?