17. November 2015 News

Vehicle diagnostics via finger touch

in-tech introduces intelligent app for test drives in the automotive industry

Controlling vehicle functions with a smartphone - the smart car of the future or the "connected car" are no longer just a vision. Alongside Apple and Google, car manufacturers are also striving to make their products more intelligent and at the same time control them via mobile devices. The engineering company in-tech is already using smart technology in automotive development as part of test drives of experimental vehicles and has developed the orangeCtrl app for this purpose. "Our app visualises and controls any vehicle data. Furthermore, it also transmits upcoming diagnostic jobs so that possible failures can be avoided in advance," says Christian Wagner, Managing Director of in-tech GmbH. The first successful projects have already been completed with well-known automotive groups. "The system is also easily transferable to the areas of mechanical engineering and transport as part of 'Industry 4.0 projects'. Smart and self-learning production plants can be realised as a result," Wagner continues.

Vehicle diagnostics transparently and in real time: The orangeCtrl system consists of a hardware box and a complete Linux operating system. The box is usually installed in the boot of the car and connected directly to the relevant vehicle buses (CAN, FlexRay, LIN). By connecting directly to the available bus interfaces, almost all communication within the vehicle can be intercepted. "In modern vehicles, this can be up to 50,000 messages per second. Diagnostic commands can be sent to the control units for this purpose," Wagner explains.

From the CAN bus to the tablet

An Android app is also supplied. The solution picks up the sensor data on the CAN bus and transmits the information wirelessly, via WLAN or Bluetooth, to mobile devices. The app visualises and controls any vehicle data in real time. Intelligent energy management also ensures extremely low power consumption.

Diagnosis at the touch of a finger

With the app, software developers and engineers can access test vehicles via smartphone or tablet. "This makes everyday work in development much easier," says Christian Wagner, second company founder and managing director of in-tech. Instead of using elaborate measuring computers, the specialists can thus effectively read important data or even control functions in the vehicle using their smartphone. "With orangeCtrl, important vehicle statuses or bus signals can be read live, diagnostic jobs can be set up or fault memories can be deleted," says the managing director. In addition, frequently required diagnostic commands can be issued with a single click via freely assignable shortcut keys. "On request, we also develop individual dashboards for special applications," Wagner continues.

App porting possible

The app currently runs on Android and Windows Phone, as these operating systems are currently most in demand. Porting to iOS is feasible upon customer request.