Car and truck manufacturers aka OEMs are facing brand new challenges with the introduction and adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Primary among these is convincing potential buyers that they won’t have to be concerned with “range anxiety” or related issues. While the press and social media tend to attribute this to a lack of chargers, the real problem is that there is no widely available method for accessing the tens of thousands of chargers that are installed at consumer, commercial and government-owned locations, or streamlining the user experience across the major charging networks. Chronic issues with operational state and payment processing within and across the vast array of charging stations is frustrating EV drivers and putting off potential buyers.
Terbine is here to take on the challenge by applying artificial intelligence and distributed computing to knowing where chargers are regardless of who owns them, determining their availability including operational status, dealing with money-handling for sessions, and providing realtime load data to power utilities so that they can allocate electricity where needed. The solution is TerbineLink, a powerful digital platform for handling these key issues.
TerbineLink is designed to operate in the background, syncing bidirectionally with OEM cloud-based vehicle data systems, essentially being invisible to drivers so that they continue to utilize the in-dash infotainment and navigation displays plus mobile applications they are accustomed to. OEMs keep the relationships with their customers whilst introducing a powerful new back end tool set that makes for a highly attractive and competitive driver experience. Terbine is building true partnerships with OEMs and the myriad of charging network and individual charging station owners, the power grid, state and local governments to bring them onto the TerbineLink platform, to the benefit of all participants
OEMs producing BEVs in all categories are invited to participate in early trials of TerbineLink, and if building their own proprietary charging networks, have the option of licensing the platform as a cloud- or edge-based EV data handling environment.
Terbine is partnering with suppliers of major EV components including in-dash systems for infotainment, sensor modules, tires, battery packs and other critical elements. The goal is to understand the realtime attributes of vehicle operation and which need to interface with TerbineLink for better and safer driver/passenger experiences. Core to the TerbineLink platform is intelligent data curation based on provider-controllable policies that dictate where and to whom specific data feeds can be routed, when and under what conditions. The TerbineLink Policy Engine is capable of dealing with regional differences in data handling, to include regulatory, corporate and other requirements. The TerbineLink Monetization Engine can provide entirely new revenue sources that take into account sharing with other participants in the EV ecosystem such as OEMs, fleet operators, individual vehicle owners and more.
With fleets of all types and sizes introducing battery electric vehicles (BEVs) the need for reliable and efficient access to charging stations is becoming paramount. For many regions and locations, it will not always be possible to rely upon chargers belonging to the fleet operator or a major charging network. TerbineLink solves this problem by ‘federating’ chargers that belong to commercial, consumer and governmental owners into a single data environment. TerbineLink will also provide advance warning to power utilities of impending large loads, such as those that can result from many large BEVs approaching charging locations at once. The resulting improvement to overall efficiency in operations will be measurable and grow with the scale of the TerbineLink system.
Fleet operators can also utilize the TerbineLink platform on a ‘white label’ basis for their own purposes, essentially providing a ‘data brain’ that intelligently handles back end handling of the various elements involved in major EV operations, which can include charger-sharing, vehicles sending power back into the grid for profit, management of coming ‘electron taxes’ in many jurisdictions and other regulatory-compliance issues.
The establishment of a wide-area system that federates EV data will be fundamentally useful in the eventual operation of large numbers of autonomous vehicles. Although not guaranteed, it is generally assumed that “AV’s will be EV’s” and thus an extension of EV-related data. History provides a good example of what’s coming – when jet aircraft started to become plentiful, it quickly became obvious that all of a plane’s operations could no longer solely be controlled from within the cockpit – this is the approaching situation for autonomous vehicles. At some point it will no longer be sufficient to rely solely upon on-board sensors and processing. While there are many discussions, standardization efforts and transmission protocols being fomented to address vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-infrastructure-integration (VII), practical realtime data curation needs to be implemented. Core issues well beyond the data communications realm must be taken into account including how AV charging will be managed and paid for on a per-session basis, controlling vehicle behaviors as they move through differing regulatory regimes and changing road conditions such as construction zones, road usage charges and many others. By tackling EV charging disparities and solving ‘range anxiety’ with its initial rollout, Terbine will be well-positioned to provide a comprehensive data-handling environment for Level 4 and 5 autonomous operations.
For upcoming large passenger- or cargo-carrying flying vehicles that are battery-powered, it is inevitable that regional or national networks of specialized charging stations operated by third parties will emerge. TerbineLink has in its design the ability to support virtually any type of BEV regardless of operating domain. Companies and government agencies looking at the charging infrastructure for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are encouraged to contact Terbine to discuss forward-thinking solutions.
As the installed base of EVs and AVs expands, the need for data moving from and to vehicles to be curated at the cell tower level will grow dramatically. The TerbineLink platform is architected with this eventuality in mind, being able to operate both in-cloud and at-the-edge via Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) units installed at the base of large 5G cell towers. The platform is designed to operate in a lattice of servers spread across many MEC sites, providing inter-site data processing and integration with colocated application servers. In this scenario, the TerbineLink system provides policy-based exchanging of data between application servers belonging to different entities, ensuring that elements such as proprietary data rights, monetization, regulatory compliance, quality of service and more are handled at high speed and transparent to vehicle operators and other actors. Telcos implementing 5G-based MEC environments and application developers working in this space are encouraged to speak with Terbine about what’s possible in the near and long terms.