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Connected Car Services from the Cloud

T-Systems realizes automotive platform as a service based on AWS for European OEM

Among other areas, the manufacturer is looking at investing in new functionalities and markets outside of Europe to facilitate its future growth. The US market in particular is of great interest here. While the existing management platform can be adapted to suit the challenges of the market and the increasing number of vehicles, the underlying infrastructure is not suited for use in global markets. Facing these challenges, how can the manufacturer successfully establish a presence in this strategically significant automotive market?

Customer benefits: Cost efficiency and reduction in complexity

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With the new connected car architecture, the European OEM gains a new basis for expanding its international business activities. The standardized, scalable, and secure platform not only provides it with a quick roll-out of new mobile services, but also reduces the cost and complexity of the underlying IT. The solution combines T-Systems' expertise in IT applications within the automotive sector with the technological possibilities of the AWS cloud platform. The recourse to existing building blocks allows the platform to be quickly realized, while also ensuring that customers are provided with new services equally quickly during ongoing operations. This significantly reduces time to market. At the same time, the OEM is increasing its number of customer touch points and is thus able to consolidate the relationship with its customers. This ultimately means that the OEM will also be able to realize new, forward-thinking (data-driven) business models.

T-Systems is a trustworthy ICT partner with over 10 years' experience in the connected car environment. We manage some 20 million vehicles on a daily basis. The basis for this is our adaptive automotive PaaS. Using AWS, we can scale this globally for our automotive customers.

Jörg Tischler, Head of Connected Car, T-Systems

The challenge: Limited cloud infrastructure is hindering global activities

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The quick provision of new services is a must in modern car models. Over-the-air updates are increasingly being used in this regard, displaying an impressive amount of flexibility when compared to traditional workshop visits. However, this approach requires a high-performing, scalable, and flexible back-end platform: a cloud infrastructure is required. The automobile management platform that is based on this infrastructure must be similarly flexible. Unfortunately, the system architecture built by the OEM for the European market could not be rolled out to the global market. Consequently, the automotive group decided to rethink its architecture. For the launch of new – and electrically driven – generations of models in May 2022, the group is looking to prepare a unified automotive platform for millions of vehicles, which will serve as the basis for future business development. The automotive manufacturer chose T-Systems to help develop this new platform.

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The solution: A central instance manages all connected cars across the globe

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T-Systems proposed an internationally unified solution. Instead of various solutions for individual regions, a single-instance strategy was developed. Upon the suggestion of T-Systems, AWS was chosen as the cloud provider. A European AWS region serves as an access point for the central management of vehicles from all of the group's brands across the globe. This instance also runs a second innovation: the logic of the adaptive automotive PaaS from T-Systems. The building blocks provided here facilitate "out-of-the-box" applications and can quickly be adapted to the specific needs of the OEM. The automotive manufacturer manages all connected cars across the globe via the central instance in Europe. To achieve this, the OEM uses the global Cloud-Backbone from AWS.

In this way, cars in the USA or in Asia can be managed via edge computing using the local AWS resources. In countries with specific framework conditions, such as China, additional local platforms are provided for the recorded data in order to meet country-specific requirements. For China this is the Alibaba cloud. T-Systems utilizes its Vehicle Operation Center for the reliable global operation of the platform (>99,95 % availability) and ensures a consistent delivery model based on DevOps across the domains. The current focus of connected car services is on device management and over-the-air updates for remote and infotainment services. T-Systems offers services along the entire connected car value chain. Standardized building blocks are the basis for quick, market-ready, and competitive online services.

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