“Our team really didn’t know that much about serverless implementations, Onica brought the knowledge that we didn’t have. They were deeply integrated throughout the development process. It felt like one team working together to implement this new capability for Spireon.”
CTO of Spireon.com
The Vehicle Intelligence Company
Spireon is a vehicle intelligence company that utilizes a connected vehicle platform that provides visibility and insights to help automotive businesses run smarter and people drive safer. Spireon’s platform serves the consumer automotive and commercial segments and supports more than 4 million connected vehicles. The platform processes over a billion events per month, such as monitoring cargo status, door status, tire pressure, temperature, and lift gate status for their Smart Trailer Solution, but this rate is projected to increase dramatically in the next couple of years. To accommodate for greater data volume from their Smart Trailer Solution, Spireon turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its serverless and IoT products and to Onica for their expertise in implementing end-to-end data solutions.
Smart Trailer Platform
Spireon’s customers were looking to get more data volume on their vehicles, including real time information on the ability to track vehicle location, load, and others. Reliability of the communication between the vehicle and platform was of great importance as well. “It's really important to know that when an event happens on the vehicle, the doors are opened or if there's an unauthorized movement, that data is going to be received by our platform and that those alerts are sent in real time to our customers,” says Rick Gruenhagen, CTO of Spireon. “In addition to that, it was important from the standpoint of being able to integrate that with our existing AWS hosted platform so that we can transform that data that we collect into actionable insights for our customers.”
Serverless Data Processing and Machine Learning on AWS
Without much knowledge on serverless implementations, Spireon came to Onica, a Premier AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting Partner who holds multiple AWS Competencies, including IoT, DevOps, and Data & Analytics. Spireon worked with Onica to create a serverless IoT platform on AWS. The whole implementation of the new platform took 4 months, drastically reducing their development time by more than half, moving them from microservices to serverless.
Smart Trailer 2.0
Previously, Spireon’s Smart Trailer sensors were reliant on ultrasonic technology, but with the new IntelliScan Cargo Sensor, a gateway device with laser infrared light sensor and optical sensors, they needed a platform with faster data processing and real-time alerting. Previously connected through Amazon EC2, the sensor connection has moved to AWS Lambda with images stored in Amazon DynamoDB. Spireon also uses Amazon SageMaker to classify images from all the vehicles installed to train up a model that improves over time and accurately detects what is in a trailer, among other use cases.
Simplified Device Management & Security on AWS
Onica worked with Spireon on developing the new serverless IoT platform. The new platform supported provisioning and management of millions of devices where unique device certificates are provisioned and loaded onto the device through AWS IoT Device Management and Device Gateway. Event ingestions flow through AWS IoT Core through Message Broker and Rules Engine which routes to Amazon Kinesis Data Streams. These events are then processed by AWS Lambda for enrichment and persistence.
The platform also allowed for the remote configuration and control of devices. “We travel across borders and so in the event that those carrier networks are offline, AWS IoT provides something called the shadow state which is really nice because if we are sending tasks to devices and the device is offline, the shadow state will maintain those commands in a queue for those devices and when they come back online, they can execute those commands,” Gruenhagen said. The device shadow provides a reliable mechanism to manage device configuration and state information, while the message broker allows ad-hoc commands to be sent to the device.
The platform provides sophisticated over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates through AWS IoT Core Jobs Services with the delivery of firmware update instructions and binaries to all devices. Use of AWS IoT Things Graphs allows for targeting devices by device type, customer, firmware versions, and other parameters.
Now, Spireon has tens of thousands of trailers installed and hundreds of thousands of images and counting. “Many thanks to Onica for their assistance. They’ve helped my team become experts in building a serverless architecture, and also be better at what we do in the IoT space through our integration with AWS’ IoT platform and the incorporation of AI into our products,” says Gruenhagen. “We’re now able to provide real time visibility to our customers and deeper insights.”
Onica is a fast-growing Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner, helping companies enable, operate, and innovate in the cloud. From migration strategy to operational excellence and immersive transformation, Onica is a full spectrum integrator. Learn more at www.onica.com.