The bIoTope project lays the foundation for creating open innovation ecosystems by providing a platform that enables companies to easily create new IoT systems. Furthermore, companies can rapidly harness available information using advanced Systems-of-Systems (SoS) capabilities for Connected Smart Objects – with minimal investment.
Helsinki pilot case
Finland is intent on raising the number of electric vehicles on its roads to 250,000 by 2030. It will make 25% of all vehicles, which is tremendous increase compared to the current 0.5%. It will be challenging to achieve this goal without significant improvements, innovations and investments in car charging infrastructure.
The objective of bIoTope project in case of Helsinki is supporting municipalities and the state to improve charging infrastructure by developing new innovative technologies that will improve charging services by increasing amount of charging stations, providing interoperability between different services suppliers, and improving quality of services. It will be achieved by creating Systems of Systems (SoS) where information from cross-domain platforms, devices and other information sources can be accessed when, and as needed using Standardised Open APIs.
Biotope also offers a framework for Security, Privacy and Trust that facilitates the responsible access, use, and ownership of data, even when data is stored in vertical applications/silos. Suitable billing mechanisms for IoT will be developed to support micro-transactions for facilitating IoT market creation.
The current charging infrastructure comprises of different types of charging stations and it is built and owned by several big players and few small companies. The EV charging stations are located mainly within large cities, in big shopping malls, in new residential areas and private parking places. The development of the infrastructure for charging is driven by the interests and strategies of these companies.
Existing electrical infrastructure to pre-heat cars during winter is challenge and at the same time opportunity for Nordic countries. In fact, there are a lot of poles with embedded electrical outlets on the streets and parking areas including residential areas, companies’ parking places, some public and private parking places. With – or even without – some modifications they could be used for slow charging service.
Each charging service provider has its own charging poles, authentication and payment systems, mobile and web application where you can find, book, and pay for the services. However, there is neither single entry point nor a standardized interface to access information about all existing charging possibilities in the area, their availability and calendars. As a result, electrical car manufacturers do not have full information about charging possibilities that they could use in the car dashboard. At the moment car dashboard provide limited information about charging possibilities in some cases based on crowd-sourced services. In fact, in order to secure the trip, the drivers of electrical vehicles must know in advance existing charging service providers in the area and check their facilities. Moreover, in many cases service providers require registration that imply certain fee and hard token to open the pole.
Stakeholders and benefits
There are several initiatives and discussion about increasing credibility of the charging service by providing a roaming between the providers, using residential poles, integration parking and charging services. bIoTope project offers technologies, a methodology and a framework for such an ecosystem (see picture) that integrates all charging possibilities into the same place/map/service catalogue. Furthermore, it provides complete information for the end users the business service developers about charging possibilities.
The development of such “charging ecosystem” would benefit all stakeholders. Drivers can find all possible charging stations in the region and thus have better opportunities to secure travelling. They would not need to know different providers in the region and to have several subscriptions for different providers. Drivers can easily compare service levels and prices. They can use the same access credentials for all charging stations. Additional benefit is a parking solution for electrical cars which is especially important in crowded areas.
Car manufacturers/providers do not need to make separate contracts with all possible service providers in the area. They get access to crowd-sourced charging services. They don’t need to adapt implementation for each service providers’ proprietary interface. Thus they can deliver more cars into the region.
Charging service providers will be visible in all car dashboards. They can focus on certain service development and buy complementary services from others (for example, authentication and payment services). Number of electrical vehicles will increase and thus their business will grow.
City and regions will achieve better life quality and services for people and more electrical vehicles to the region. The ecosystem will create new business opportunities (operating of ecosystem, new business applications), improve current competitive landscape, and optimize public and private assets.