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Three product lines of sensors will get wireless BLE interface.

DFM flow meter, DUT-E fuel level sensor, GNOM axle load sensor - with BLE interface

Technoton manufactures wide range of onboard peripheral device for telematics – fuel level sensors, fuel flow meters, i/o j1939 modules, onboard display, CAN gateways. Technoton’s products have various analog and digital interfaces: voltage, current, pulse, RS 232/485, CAN.

Until now, our main policy is that for connecting peripheral devices to telematics unit wired CAN j 1939/S6 is used. Our sales statistics shows decline of analog and RS-interface products in favor of CAN-interface ones.

After Bluetooth low energy technology was introduces, we’ve got an opportunity to make our fuel monitoring and CANbus data reading products with wireless data transfer interface. The advantages are obvious: installation becomes easier, risk of damaging (occasionally or intentionally) wires and connectors is minimized, physical incompatibility of connectors is eliminated.

However, switching to wireless data transfer interfaces is senseless if the device itself is power-supplied from onboard electrical network of vehicle and power cable is still a must-have.

Thus, we come to conclusion, that “wireless” sensors should mean “fully autonomous” sensor.

BLE implementation in vehicle telematics may cause some concerns: stability of connection, autonomous lifetime, probability of accidental or deliberate “capture” of the connection by a “foreign” unit or a mobile phone.

Fully autonomous operation assumes strict energy saving, sensor operation in “wake up-measure-sleep” mode, while majority of time a sensor stays in “sleep” mode. This way of operation imposes additional difficulties on circuit engineering and to embedded software of a sensor. Onboard data processing – signal filtration and linearization, Event and malfunction recognition – in strict energy saving mode is seriously complicated.

Since the middle of 2017 Technoton develops the project of wireless sensor with BLE technology. During the project, we resolved majority of BLE-related difficulties, thanks to the great experience in designing and manufacturing DFM fuel counters (autonomous fuel flow meters).

We formed our vision of BLE niche: wireless interface should be used in sensors, which are place outside driver’s cabin and only for solving tasks, which do not require high reliability of connection and data processing “on board” of a sensor.

Usage of wireless sensor requires obligatory testing of:

  1. compatibility “sensor-telematics unit-server” ;
  2. reliability of wireless connection for each particular vehicle.

Taking in account all the above-mentioned, CAN interface is shifting to niches:

  • in cabin” peripherals: CAN display, i/o module (MasterCAN DAC), FMSCrocodile, etc.
  • solutions, where high reliability, guaranteed quality of signal transferring and “on board” data processing are required.
S7 (BLE) wireless interface logo - Technoton

New development of Technoton – S7 wireless interface, which is based on BLE (Bluetooth low energy) technology

We would like to announce, that Technoton is designing the following wireless devices: fuel level sensors, fuel flow meters and axle load sensors.

We would be glad to provide for integration our S7 data transfer protocol description, recommendations on signal reception and processing, signal simulation device and, of course, sample units to telematics unit and GPS/GSM terminal manufacturers. After integration we’re ready to run compatibility tests, which include operability and accuracy check in full range of signal and operation temperature. Testing will be carried out in heat/cold chamber and as a result of testing – we will make a Declaration of compatibility and Recommendations on connecting and configuring of particular pair “sensor + telematics unit”.

Technoton is also interested in standardizing data transfer protocols, so we invite other manufacturers of wireless BLE sensors to co-operation, in which we’re ready to share our knowledge and experience.

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