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Solar-Electric Car Startup Sono Motors to Use a Connected Vehicle Software Platform From Silicon Valley-based Sibros

Solar-Electric Car Startup Sono Motors to Use a Connected Vehicle Software Platform From Silicon Valley-based Sibros

Author: Eric Walz   

Connected and autonomous vehicles in the future will generate massive amounts of data that will be sent to and from the cloud. In addition to being fully-connected and autonomous, most vehicles will support over-the-air software updates as well as remote diagnostics. But managing all of this vehicle data will be a new challenge for automakers in the future, so they are turning to tech companies with expertise in data management.

One such company is Silicon Valley-based Sibros, a developer of a deep over-the-air (OTA) connected vehicle ecosystem. The company announced a collaboration with Munich-based solar-electric vehicle startup Sono Motors, a company founded in 2016 that developed proprietary solar technology for its Solar Electric Vehicle (SEV) named the Sion.

Sono Motors will deploy the Sibros Deep Connected Platform (DCP) to manage the entire Sion EV fleet, The platform will essentially connect all of the Sion vehicles on the road, which is a technology first pioneered by Tesla in the auto industry. 

"We are pleased to partner with Sono Motors, which has established itself as a global leader in the solar-powered vehicle market. The popularity and continual pre-orders of the Sion has emphasized the need for safe, secure and reliable over-the-air software updates and data collection for the entire vehicle fleet," said Hemant Sikaria, CEO and Co-Founder of Sibros. 

Sibros works with automakers to optimize fleet health, reduce software recalls, and create new connected services with full vehicle OTA software updates, data collection and remote diagnostics in a single ecosystem that can run on any vehicle architecture. 

The Sion EV will be a software-based vehicle. All of the software updates, data collection and remote interactions with vehicle modules will be handled entirely by Sibros' Deep Connected Platform (DCP). It gives Sono Motors direct insight into its vehicle data and fleet analytics, including remote diagnostics for addressing potential problems that could compromise vehicle capabilities. 

The Sibros DCP can help OEMs reduce recalls and warranty claims by fixing any issues remotely with software updates. The connected ecosystem also offers dozens of other use cases including predictive maintenance, usage-based insurance, owner personalization and digital services.

The Sibros connected vehicle platform also protects against malware attacks and other cybersecurity issues, which is a growing concern in the auto industry for vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities. The Sibros DCP is built to the most rigorous safety, security and data privacy standards in the world, such as ISO 26262 (functional safety). 

"Connectivity and innovative mobility services are critical components of our strategy to reduce the cost of ownership for our customers, and to enable software-powered business models," said Johannes Bückle, Head of Digital Product at Sono Motors. "We are confident that partnering with Sibros' market-proven platform will enable us to fully concentrate on the digital experience while delivering on our commitment to minimize maintenance and service costs," added Mitchell Zarders, Director of Infotainment at Sono Motors. 

sono-sion_1.jpeg

The Sion EV has 248 solar cells to help charge the vehicle's 54 kWh, Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) battery.

As more vehicles are becoming connected devices like smartphones, legacy automakers, including Ford, Volvo Car and Mercedes Benz are beginning to introduce their own connected vehicle platforms that manage the data from their fleets. 

The new Ford Mustang Mach-E for example, supports over-the-air software updates. Ford is able to remotely monitor battery usage and range for the entire fleet of Mach-E vehicles on the road. 

Future Mercedes-Benz vehicles will all be software-based. The automaker is currently working with NVIDIA on the platform to manage the fleet of connected, software-powered vehicles. 

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars is also working on its own data platform. Volvo's future plans include having ten of thousands of software-powered connected cars on the road in the next decade traveling millions of kilometers and continuously sharing data with the automaker. 

To manage the massive amount of real-time traffic data that will eventually be collected from Volvo vehicles, Volvo Cars and its software division Zenseact are investing in a massive AI-powered data center that can store over 200 Pebibytes (225 million gigabytes) of data

The Sion EV has 248 solar cells which are integrated into the body of the car in order to help charge the vehicle's 54 kWh, Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) battery. The solar cells can add an average of 112 km (70 miles) per week of driving range, according to Sono Motors. It takes around 35 minutes to charge the battery to 80% when plugging in at a fast charging station. The Sion accepts charging rates up to 75 kW.

Sono Motors is expected to initially deliver the Sion EV across Europe in the first half of 2023, including  in Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. It is expected to have the lowest total cost of ownership in its category. It's priced at US$25,670. 

In addition to the Sion EV, Sono Motors offers solar panels for trucks, buses and other light electric vehicles to supply additional power for extending range.

The Sibros DCP was named 2021 "Connected Car Platform of the Year" by IoT Breakthrough Awards, which recognizes innovative companies, IoT products and services.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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