IoT: Connected Car Software and smart telematic services out of the gridscale public cloud


Website:
www.thinxnet.com
Industry:
Software as a Service
About

ThinxNet GmbH is a young FinTech and IoT company based in Munich whose products ryd pay and ryd box make driving a car more comfortable and safer overall. ryd pay is the largest cross-brand solution for mobile payment directly at the pump. Customers pay in-app at the pump or in the car and save themselves the trip to the shop.

Thanks to arbitrary scalability, gridscale guarantees our customers a consistently positive user experience and data processing according to strict German data protection regulations.

Christoph Geiser, Director Software Development

ThinxNet GmbH is a young FinTech and IoT company based in Munich whose products ryd pay and ryd box make driving a car more comfortable and safer overall. ryd pay is the largest cross-brand solution for mobile payment directly at the pump. Customers pay in-app at the pump or in the car and save themselves the trip to the shop.

The ryd box, an OBD2 connector, transforms any car into a SmartCar and offers car owners completely new possibilities for managing their automobility via dynamic on-board diagnostics, GPS tracking and innovative telematics services. The provision and operation of platform, app software and backend components, data storage as well as the handling of data transfer are based on gridscale’s public cloud infrastructures.

With the vision of making “life around the car” even easier, ThinxNet has realized an innovative telematics infrastructure and all-in-one auto app with ryd, which provides helpful value-added services for all aspects of driving based on the smartphone or a physical box in the vehicle, real-time information from the diagnostic system and current location and movement data. From in-app payment options with ryd pay, digital on-board computers, automatic logbook, live location, towing warning and family safety features to interactive vehicle communication via Alexa. Other OEM partners such as petrol station operators and insurance companies are integrated into the ecosystem and are using the platform successfully for customer retention and business expansion.

STARTING SITUATION & OBJECTIVES

The ryd box networks “non-connected cars” via the OBD2 interface, which has been available in every car since 2001, and offers users comprehensive SmartCar functions in the ryd app. ryd pay, a component of the app and ThinxNet’s Software-as-a-Service offering, allows easy payment for fuel directly at the pump and has other functions that inform users about the total cost of their car.

Against the backdrop of a lack of stability and performance at the then cloud provider, a globally active IT group, ThinxNet was looking for a new IT operating service provider in 2018: “A reliable, high-performance cloud platform that is particularly secure due to the sensitive vehicle and location data is one of the most important success factors as part of our overall solution,” recalls Christoph Geiser, Director Software Development at ThinxNet, referring to the most important criteria in the selection process at the time.

“gridscale guarantees our customers a consistently positive user experience and data processing in accordance with strict German data protection regulations thanks to its scalability. The open architecture also allows us to quickly and easily map modern programming paradigms and DevOps scenarios on the platform”.

REALIZATION

ThinxNet had set up an extremely complex infrastructure at its former IT service provider with various database clusters, application servers for the native apps and several Kubernetes instances for development, staging and live operation. In a first step, all existing servers and containers were migrated to the new cloud platform.

Since the previous provider did not support some of the gridscale features, these were successively integrated into the gridscale architecture of ThinxNet in a second step. For example, the company now also uses the snapshot functions to secure current server states in the event of a malfunction.

Speed and reliability

Shortly after the migration of the first workloads, it became apparent that the performance and availability of the gridscale infrastructure was clearly superior to that of the previous provider. “The performance of our applications has directly accelerated many times over and we have actually never had a system failure since then,” says Christoph Geiser happily.

DevOps and “Infrastructure as Code”

Particularly positive for ThinxNet is the support of demanding DevOps scenarios, where the IT infrastructure can be managed completely via script. The open architecture and the API, which is easy for administrators to use, allows extensive automation of all important processes.

This enables ThinxNet to use the familiar DevOps tools such as Puppet, Jenkins or Docker and to configure and orchestrate the entire infrastructure as code. This saves developers in particular a lot of time and nerves, since new servers for their use case can be started simply “by mouse click”.

Multi-client capability

ryd App and ryd Pay make use of close cooperation with business partners, such as oil companies and insurance companies, for some convenience functions such as the price comparison of the petrol station finder. The data or functions specifically used by the partners and other customer information and features of the apps must be managed separately and strictly separated. Via the partner panel integrated in gridscale and a graphical interface, the respective clients and their access options can be managed by ThinxNet in an uncomplicated and reliable way.

Data Protection and Compliance

Business partners from the insurance industry in particular have high demands on data protection and security. This is due to the compliance requirements of the Critical Infrastructure Act (KRITIS), the EU Data Protection Basic Regulation (DSGVO) and other legal regulations for insurers.

However, end customers are also pressing for maximum security: they want data storage in accordance with strict data protection regulations and not transfer their transaction data to insurance companies. Here, German data centers under the DSGVO regime and the BMWi certification of gridscale as a Trusted Cloud are a decisive argument for high credibility and user acceptance of the entire IoT ecosystem of ThinxNet.

CONCLUSIONS

In a very short time, ryd has developed into one of the leading IoT platforms in the automotive sector, bringing together partners from different worlds, industries and value chains. Several hundred thousand customers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland already use the telematics services of ThinxNet. And the trend is rising strongly!

In view of the rapid growth and ongoing internationalization, the reliability and high performance of the applications remain very important criteria for business success. Additional resources, for example for different geographical regions, are ready for use within minutes via the gridscale cloud infrastructure. It also allows the smooth implementation of multilingual apps or automated backend routines, for example. The result: More efficiency in live operation and in the further development of products.

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