Liebherr delivers the mobile communication gateway (MCG) for Bertrandt’s platform Harri. The MCG connects data sources in vehicles, reads the information via CAN and Ethernet interfaces and optimizes data for the transmission into the cloud.
The communication solution by Liebherr Components, will support the innovation platform of the engineering partner Bertrandt. Harri is a technology carrier for the megatrends like digitization, connectivity, autonomous driving, and electro-mobility, explained the company. It incorporates technologies for user experience, interfaces, Car2X communication, and data processing.
The basis for the digitization of Harri is the local pre-processing of vehicle and environmental data – the so-called edge computing. The freely configurable telematics hardware enables edge computing, as well as data transfer to the cloud. The IoT (Internet of Things) gateway from Liebherr Components, that is developed and manufactured on site in Lindau (Germany), is deployed in Harri. The MCG connects the data sources in the vehicle, reads the information via CAN and Ethernet interfaces and pre-processes them. In this way, it ensures the data optimization before the transfer into the cloud.
The product is referred to as CDC (connectivity domain controller) in Harri’s vehicle architecture. Bertrandt used Docker containers to display the application layers on the CDC. Such a structure helped to ensure the security aspects and to implement software updates over-the-air (Fota), they said.
Based on the Linux operating system and the fully configured Yocto build system, the MCG is programmable, providing scope for individual applications, such as over-the-air software updates. “As the gateway also fulfills the requirements of protection class IP5K2, it is ideal for the very demanding operating conditions of mobile machines – temperatures up to +70 °C, dust, and vibration,” explained Martin Lorenzen, Project Manager at Liebherr-Elektronik in Lindau.
The MCG sends and receives vehicle-relevant data via two antennas. Correctly installed, two antennas can improve the connectivity of the machine, said the company. This is especially true of areas with poor internet connection. To assess the actual improvement, Liebherr performed its own tests. Thereby, the quality of the MCG network connection with one and two antennas was tested over a pre-defined route in a rural area with poor internet connection and interchanging cellular networks over a period of one week.
The results indicate that compared to a device with only one antenna, a gateway with two antennas benefits from significantly higher connectivity. Overall, the device with two antennas was online for longer than the gateway with only one antenna. Connectivity increased from 79 % to 93 %, according to the company.
Antenna diversity is particularly useful, when a vehicle is moving through areas with poor mobile network connections. Larger vehicles in particular benefit from it, as two antennas help to overcome the problem of an interrupted connection through in-vehicle shadowing.
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