u-blox & NetModule to develop Automotive Gateways for Telematics applications

u-blox announced their partnership in the development of modular, multifunctional automotive gateways for telematics applications. NetModule’s NG800 automotive gateway platform, available for various products, features the u blox TOBY-L2 cellular module, the u-blox NEO-M8L GNSS receiver, and in some products the u blox JODY-W1 Wi-Fi module.

As advanced telematics grows its footprint in commercial automotive applications, demands on the reliability and robustness of the cloud connectivity are on the rise. NetModule designed its NG800 automotive IoT gateway to offer robust communication between a vehicle’s onboard electronics and connected cloud based applications enabling a broad spectrum of automotive use cases, including e-mobility monitoring, fleet management, and remote vehicle diagnostics.

To meet customer-specific requirements with bespoke solutions, NetModule has adopted an innovative modular platform approach comprising software, electronic, and mechanical modules. This platform allows to manufacture a broad range of product variants at a moderate investment, even in small quantities. In addition, the NG800 gateway received in 2019 the highly appreciated Red Dot Design Award in the category Product Design.

“The key components in the NG800 are sourced from u-blox,” says Benjamin Amsler, Director Engineering at NetModule. NetModule provides the management software, connection monitoring etc. on top, while the remote management of eUICC SIM profiles have been implemented in close cooperation with u-blox.“The globally certified TOBY-L2 cellular modem offers global connectivity, while the NEO-M8L GNSS receiver with dead reckoning offers robust positioning, even in typically challenging environments.”

Municipalities will be among those to benefit, for instance, by equipping garbage collection, street cleaning, and winter maintenance vehicles with the NG800 telematics gateway. Authorities will be able to monitor their vehicles’ activities, itineraries, and status, gathering valuable real-time data that they can leverage to optimize their operations.

The NG800, which combines LTE Cat 4 cellular communication, Bluetooth low energy short range radio, and GNSS positioning with dead reckoning, also features a Molex CMC 48 pin connector to accept wired inputs such as CAN, RS-232, automotive Ethernet 100BASE-T1, and Fast Ethernet 100BASE-TX. Housed in a robust IP69-classified case, the NG800 is designed to withstand harsh handling, making it tough enough to be mounted on the vehicles’ exteriors.

“The geographic proximity and the exceptional quality and reliability that one could expect from a Swiss enterprise certainly influenced us in selecting u-blox as our technology partner for this product platform.” says Jürgen Kern, CEO of NetModule. “The practical experience gained during the close technological collaboration in developing the NG800 reassured us that we made the right choice. One could state: two well aligned companies and remarkably complementary product portfolios make natural partners.”

“We see tremendous value in our close collaboration with NetModule. Not only do they manufacture robust communication products for one of our key target markets, they also add value for our mutual customers, tying in their product know-how, their skills in technological integration, and their vast experience in this application space,” says Philipp Weingartner, Head of Key Accounts EMEA at u-blox.