The technology company Continental has come out with the new 4G dongle, thereby boosting the performance of its Remote Vehicle Data (RVD) platform, which gives access to the vehicle data of numerous makes and models. The dongle not only transmits data much faster than its Bluetooth-based predecessor, it can also read out more data records and has more computing power.
This lays the foundation for new services that workshops can offer their customers. “We’ve also significantly increased the vehicle coverage of the RVD platform. Workshops can now read out data from more than 80 percent of all registered vehicle models in Europe, and we’re going to increase this coverage even more,” says Dominik Wrede, head of product development for Diagnostics and Services at Continental. Continental also puts a special emphasis on high data quality. In addition to freely available data from the on-board diagnostics (OBD) interface, the system can read out a great deal of manufacturer-specific information. This gives workshops access to fault codes in OEM quality. The code descriptions are much more precise than those which are freely available, and more codes can be read from the fault memory. The manufacturer-specific information provided by the platform also includes service and inspection records, which are especially important to workshops. Individual parameters such as battery voltage and oil level are also monitored. Users thus have a good picture of the vehicle’s overall condition.
An important advantage of remote data is that it can help workshops to control their work processes and make them more efficient. By knowing in advance when a vehicle will be brought in and for what reason, they can plan appointments more efficiently and make better use of their resources. Regular appointments like inspections can be scheduled for times when there is sufficient capacity.
Workshops can offer additional help that is appropriate at the given time, such as tire service. This saves customers valuable time. And thanks to diagnostics data, spare parts can be ordered before the repair date. The work can then be done faster. Moreover, it is less often necessary to return parts that were mistakenly ordered.
“Access to vehicle data means better and more efficient service – and that’s what customers are increasingly expecting. The RVD platform and the 4G dongle enable workshops to win points with customers in an increasingly competitive environment,” says Peter Wagner, head of Automotive Aftermarket at Continental.
An overview of vehicle data facilitates early detection of wear and malfunctions. Workshops can inform their customers and plan appointments in an optimum manner. “They can save their customers a lot of time and effort by offering them inspection dates, providing a replacement vehicle in good time or ordering necessary spare parts in advance,” says Wrede. “That builds trust and increases customer loyalty.”
The dongle also offers improvements when it comes to user-friendliness. It can be connected with a car without an app and has its own SIM card for sending data to a backend system. In addition, it is protected by the latest cybersecurity technologies for data processing. Regular security checks and updates ensure that vehicles have the best possible protection. The RVD platform that processes the data is also regularly tested by means of simulated hacker attacks (penetration tests) to keep it up to date.
“Vehicle safety and data security are key areas of competence for Continental, and in recent years we’ve strengthened our position through acquisitions and further investments in this area. Our RVD platform has benefited from this. In addition, as one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, we’ve expanded our know-how in diagnostics and connectivity. With our range of services and diagnostic solutions for the aftermarket, we are well positioned for the future,” says Peter Wagner.