Enabling Connected Vehicle Ecosystem With Machine Learning: The Startup Story Of Sibros
Source – https://analyticsindiamag.com/
Led by former engineers from Tesla and Faraday Future, Hemant Sikaria and Mayank Sikaria, Sibros is an automotive technology company offering a next-generation vehicle-to-cloud automotive software platform.
CEO and co-founder Hemant Sikaria had the light bulb moment to start Sibros when he had to make multiple trips to his car dealer due to a software recall. Upon further research, he realised the majority of OEMs did not have the necessary capabilities for advanced full vehicle updates. In fact, global OEMs have been facing significant software and data complexity challenges as vehicles were increasingly shifting towards electrification and self-driving modes. Synergising Hemant’s experience at Tesla in building systems that could solve these problems with Over-the-Air (OTA) programming, and Mayanks’s significant contributions to the software, data and battery management systems at Faraday, the duo teamed up to form Sibros.
Analytics India Magazine got in touch with the founders to understand how Sibros is leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to help automakers build new connectivity use cases and business models.
Leading The Way With ML
The advancement in 5G technology along with software-defined vehicles has allowed Over-the-Air software updates to extend beyond just telematics and head unit applications. As a matter of fact, the connected car revolution has made OTA software an industry standard for automakers. For the uninitiated, OTA can reduce consequential software recalls to create new revenue opportunities, and enhance the customer experience by shortening the time required to update, fix, and maintain vehicles throughout their entire lifecycle.
Sibros’ flagship product, OTA Deep Updater executes full vehicle Over-the-Air (OTA) software updates while logging vital vehicle data in real-time from every sensor and microchip. The solution supports any vehicle platform, architecture and hardware, starting from two to four wheelers, commercial trucks/busses to electric, and internal combustion to hybrid vehicles.
Explaining the process, Hemant stated: Sibros collects data at the edge that is processed with machine learning and artificial intelligence to help automakers build new connectivity use cases, and business models, like variable insurance, driver personalisation, fixing software recalls overnight, crash detection, etc.
With its modular system that provides full vehicle OTA updates to every sensor or engine control unit (ECU) while logging real-time vehicle data, Sibros’ deep connectivity platform really stands out in the market. “As modern vehicles can produce petabytes of data monthly, Sibros selectively capture the most meaningful data based on customisable events and triggers. This data is then further compressed and uploaded to the cloud backend,” explained Hemant. “This method enables efficient cloud computing throughput and enables OEMs to leverage live vehicle data for fleet/service management, developing new connected apps, building third party marketplaces and much more.”
The company uses machine learning, data pipelines and IoT to abstract, process and interpret vehicle data, such as fault codes, into human-readable formats on visual dashboards. “Our efforts on the AI and analytics front are all geared towards improving capabilities around safety measurement, failure detection and preventative maintenance,” said Mayank. “We offer insights into driving behaviour of each user on the platform by combining vehicle data such as speed or harsh acceleration and braking with external data sources like traffic, data and time.”
Sibros OTA Deep Updater can also automatically detect vehicle movement risks by flagging abnormalities in a vehicle’s manoeuvring patterns. Component usage like blending weather, altitude and region information, battery health, and performance also play a crucial role in providing insights to automakers for determining the optimal configuration of a battery in different markets.
Sibros’ core technology stack leverages Golang as the primary backend language to handle high currency workloads, with an outstanding balance between performance and developer velocity. However, for the frontend, the company leveraged React.js and React Native to deliver the product to multiple platforms without having to rewrite the stack from scratch. “We also heavily leverage cloud-native solutions including SQL/No-SQL and Kubernetes for container orchestration to avoid reinventing the wheel, and build our infrastructure as code using Terraform,” said Mayank.
“While initially, the COVID pandemic has ground the automotive industry to a halt, slowing the progress with plants shutting down, the things have now started to pick up slowly, and we see a tremendous uptick in business traction,” said Hemant.
As remote working and contactless interactions are becoming the new norm, Sibros was able to deliver an embedded software and cloud/analytics solution remotely. The solution is also enabling field technicians not to be physically present while performing R&D and testing the beta vehicles. “As our solution is designed to enable fully Over-the-Air remote services, this ultimately benefits end customers to limit their exposure for visiting a dealer for servicing or utilising new connected services, such as in-vehicle payments for goods/food/tolling/parking,” added Hemant.
Despite COVID, Sibros has been able to build a diverse and inclusive work culture. The employees can work directly with clients in their initial months to see their ideas become a reality in their product roadmap and offerings. “Our current and future job requisitions span the gamut — from embedded firmware engineers and full-stack engineers to UI/UX, sales and marketing. We look for people who are coachable and rising stars, instead of necessarily looking for specific skill sets,” said Hemant.
Sibros currently has presence in multiple locations and is engaged with the largest Indian OEMs of two, three, and four wheeler vehicles. The founders believe that India is a high growth area for Sibros in terms of talent acquisition and building a customer base. The country holds great promise for the future of major automotive trends, particularly in areas of rapid charging infrastructure and EV production/adoption, they said.
The company has grown to over 40 employees and has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Nexus Venture Partners. “Our customer base includes the vehicle manufacturers directly spanning some of the world’s largest funded EV startups to some of the biggest makers of two and four-wheeler vehicles,” added Hemant.
Speaking about the company’s five-year plans, Hemant said Sibros intends to enter other verticals where the technology can be applied with minimal changes. “We also plan to stand up a centre of excellence in Pune as well as expanding our presence in Germany, Japan and China. Our vision is that in five years, the connected vehicle ecosystem will become a mainstream reality, powered by Sibros. Much like smartphone ecosystems gave birth to disruptive services and apps such as Uber or Airbnb, so will the vehicle ecosystem. It’s moving rapidly, and we expect to gain much progress over the next five years to accomplish this vision,” he added.