Digi International, a leading global provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT connectivity products and services, highlighted its role in the development of Ecotive’s Range Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab taxi —the only zero-emissions-capable vehicle currently operating in London as a black cab.
The taxi’s core powertrain and infotainment systems, which have been developed by Frazer-Nash Research, use the Digi ConnectCore 6 (Digi CC6) System-on-Module to drive the Metrocab’s entire driver instrumentation and passenger displays. Frazer-Nash utilizes the Digi CC6 in two key areas – first in processing information from the drivetrain to the instrument display and, secondly, in providing wireless connectivity to deliver real-time information, application updates and a more interactive driver and passenger experience.
Digi CC6 and Metrocab’s Drivetrain Instrumentation
The taxi is driven by two electric motors with a 1-liter petrol engine coupled with a generator (the range extender) which charges the battery pack. Alternatively, charging can be achieved via any mains outlet, ensuring an even lower fuel consumption. This unique configuration, and the sophistication of the powertrain, allows the driver many charging options to maximize their efficiency. The Digi CC6 has been designed to provide a fuller array of instrumentation to assist cost-conscious taxi drivers in choosing the best operation.
Information that the Digi CC6 processes and presents to taxi drivers includes:
- Vehicle use information: drive mode, speed, energy flows, watt hours per kilometer, detailed range and fuel economy displays (e.g., electric, petrol), battery state of charge, steering angles, and torque curves, as well as standard information such as tire pressure, oil temperature, seat belt warnings, and more.
- Trip information: time of trip, distance, GPS, and level of emissions.
- General information: time, inside temperature, outside temperature, location via GPS, and live weather reports.
In addition to general and trip-specific information, the Digi CC6 processes and powers an infotainment system that offers vehicle drivers Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio, FM radio, CD player, MP3, satellite navigation, and an in-cab gaming system. For passengers, a rear display and Wi-Fi connectivity allow for smart phone mirroring and internet access. The rear display can also be used for location-aware advertisements, creating a new revenue source for taxi drivers.
“Digi’s solutions were one of the few technologies developed outside of Frazer-Nash and had to meet an incredibly high level of standards,” said Greg Starns, executive director of software, Frazer-Nash. “The Digi CC6 has given us all the capabilities we had hoped for while cutting our development time 15-fold. Its intelligence and usability fell perfectly in line with what we expect from our own development.”
“Digi CC6 is one of the most advanced System-On-Module on the market today,” said Kevin C. Riley, chief operating officer, Digi International. “It creates incredible development opportunities for our customers and partners in ways that are just being realized. The Metrocab is an example of one of the truly game-changing ways in which our technology can be utilized.”
For more information, visit Digi’s website at www.digi.com.