Telematics eCall Plug | TEP
Frequently Asked Questions
Which applications can be realized with the events generated by the TEP120?
The following applications can be realized using the data provided by the TEP120 (list not complete):
- Gamification of driving
- Driver’s log
- The events generated be the TEP120 can be used to trigger other devices e.g. dashcams
Questions about the TEP 120 eCall feature
How does the device detect an accident?
An internal acceleration sensor detects abrupt stops of the vehicle, using an accelerometer and embedded intelligence which is derived from Bosch airbag development.
What information does the emergency service gather?
This depends on the app the TEP120 is connected to.
In general, the emergency service will get all the relevant data for further action such as:
- how severe was the accident?
- when was the accident detected?
- where did the accident happen (GPS)?
- on which side of the street did it happen (important e.g. on freeways)?
Depending on the App, the data can be enriched by information like car model, driver information (demographics, medical history….).
What happens when the driver is unable to talk after the accident?
It is foreseen that a call center calls the driver and if he is not responsive the call center will alarm the emergency services to provide help.
Is it possible that the device fails to detect an accident? Or are there other possibilities of device failure during an actual eCall?
- The TEP120 has been tested in many real life situation as well as in crash tests. Besides that it was developed with the simulation models which are used to develop the airbag controllers.
- The return rates are very low and currently no case is known in which a TEP has not detected an accident where there was one.
- There are few reports where an accident was triggered where there was none. Such cases are then handled with the driver through the callback of the call center.
What happens if the TEP120 loses power during an accident?
The TEP120 has an internal power backup, which is enough to send the eCall event to the smartphone.
How can the device differentiate between an accident and e.g. a hard breaking?
Exhaustive crash tests have been performed to prove the quality of the built-in algorithms, which were derived from airbag crash sensing. The device can distinguish between harsh route conditions and light crashes, as well differentiate among an intelligent light to heavy crash gradient.
How does the device communicate with the emergency service?
The communication is done via the user’s smartphone.
Questions on the driving event detection
How does the device detect driving events?
The same sensor for the crash detection is used. It automatically calibrates to the car in which it is plugged into, so it can measure the resulting forces if the car performs the maneuvers of acceleration, braking and cornering.
How is the strength of an event ranked?
The measured forces are represented on a scale from 1-255.
How is the driving behavior classified?
This depends on the solution the TEP120 is used in. It can be done by observing the event data over time only. Normally the events are linked with other information like (time of day, position, road type, etc.)
What other events are detected?
The TEP120 also detects start and stop events to detect when the car is actually moving.
What other information is provided with the events?
All events are provided with a timestamp.
What happens if the TEP120 is not connected to a smartphone or the connection to the phone is interrupted?
The TEP120 will then store the events in its internal memory and provide the events after a smartphone is reconnected.
How many events can the TEP120 store?
The TEP120 can store approx. 10000 events, during a normal ride 100 – 150 events are generated per hour.
What is a regular solution setup of the TEP120?
To use the TEP120 the following components are required:
1. The TEP120, which generates eCall and/or driving events
2. A smartphone app which handles the connection to the TEP120 and a backend. The smartphone app normally is also used to gather additional information like the position from the smartphone’s GPS.
3. A backend which handles the data sent from the app
4. A call center (for eCall)
5. Algorithms which process the received data
Is the whole solution provided by BCDS?
The app, backend IT and call center solution are not within the delivery scope of the TEP120. TEP120 is solely the frontend component of such an eCall system or UBI system. However, if necessary, BCDS is in contact with internal and external partners to provide a full solution.
Are both features always (ecall, driving event scoring) enabled?
No, the (business) customer can decide which solution he wants to implement and provide to his end customer. He can enable one or the other or both features by purchasing a respective license from BCDS.
Can someone hack into the system and take control of my car?
No, because there is no connection to the vehicle control system the car can’t be hacked.
If people share a car, can both use the same TEP120?
Yes, the TEP120 supports an unlimited amount of users, however only one can connect to at the same time.
What is the difference between the TEP120 and an OBD dongle with similar functionality?
The TEP120 is plugged in the standard 12V DC (cigarette lighter) and the OBD dongle is inserted into the OBD connector of the car. Both products have their pros and cons.
The key benefits of the TEP120 over the OBD dongle are:
- The TEP120 fits to any type of vehicle by simply plugging it into the standard 12V DC, while the OBD dongle is not normed for all the different vehicle models.
- Because there is no connection to the vehicle control system the TEP120 cannot be used to hack the car. Since OBD dongles are connected to the vehicle’s internal communication system the OBD dongles provide the possibility to control just about anything in the vehicle (e.g. cutting the brakes).
- In general the TEP120 is much cheaper than the OBD dongles with similar functionality
- The main benefit of the OBD dongle is: The OBD dongle has access to more vehicle data and therefore is able to provide additional functionalities
What is the difference between the TEP120 and an App providing the same features?
In general, the TEP120 can detect accidents much more reliably than an App.
The App uses the internal smartphone sensors for detecting an accident.
In this constellation we see the following problems:
- Normally the smartphone is not connected sufficiently with the car, so it only measures the dampened acceleration.
- The app developer typically doesn’t have the deep understanding of acceleration behavior during accidents.
- Not all smartphones use the same sensors, so the same algorithm running well on one smartphone type might produce bad results on a different smartphone model.