Propelling Fleet Management Into the Future With Digital Twin Technology

Propelling-Fleet-Management-Into-the-Future-With-Digital-Twin-Technology

Intangles’ CEO, Anup Patil, in an interview with Rahul Dutta Roy from Auto Futures, narrates the origin story of Intangles and our vision going ahead. He talks about how our solutions have made an impact on the mobility ecosystem and our expansion plans for the forthcoming future.

Intangles is blurring the lines between the physical and the virtual worlds for fleet managers with its proprietary Digital Twin technology. The Pune-based company has brought deep tech into the fleet management space, where it combines physics-based analytics and machine learning to simulate the real-world environment into a virtual world, allowing it to provide fleet operators with real-time and predictive insights.

However, Intangles didn’t start with the intention of servicing the fleet management sector. The first version of Intangles was a child-tracking solution. The idea of building the solution came to the CEO and co-founder, Anup Patil when his son got lost for a few minutes during a company picnic.

However, another co-founder, Aman Singh, was using an off-the-shelf OBD dongle that received data from vehicles, reading various diagnostic parameters from the engine. Things quickly fell into place, and Intangles was formed.

“Our passion for data sciences and automobile technologies led us to the exploration of On-Board Diagnostics data on passenger vehicles,” Patil tells Auto Futures.

“On one of our routine inspections, in agreement with a driver, we used our device to better understand the health of a truck. The findings pointed to various alerts being raised when it came to the health of the engine, battery and alternator. This led us to inspect another truck that was fairly new but yielded the same results, which opened doors to a vast arena of opportunities,” says Patil.

The company developed its own hardware interface capable of collecting data from commercial vehicle (CV) platforms across OEMs, fuel injection and emissions technologies.

“This was augmented with a state-of-the-art edge-to-cloud communication backbone and a suite of proprietary algorithms targeted towards predictive health alerts for engine overheating, battery and alternator failures, driver behaviour profiling, fuel pilferage and geospatial intelligence.”

Given the many challenges that the current mobility ecosystem faces, fleet operators must have cost control metrics aided by the right technology to boost their bottom line while also optimising operations. While solutions are plentiful, none of them are comprehensive enough to deliver the necessary insights that fleet managers seek.

The concerns that must be addressed are the health of the asset and the way it is being operated, which is where Intangles steps into the picture.

“We provide comprehensive predictive insights that enable an operator to receive alerts well before a failure occurs, along with an appropriate set of diagnostic instructions. Such precise insights, combined with predictive alerts, are altering the entire ecosystem where responsibility for a vehicle’s health becomes a collective endeavour. We analyse virtual twins from numerous angles, making peer-to-peer comparisons and providing the appropriate set of recommendations based on the analysis,” explains Patil.

Intangles’ solutions are primarily focused on predictive maintenance around the health of the vehicle, driver behaviour analysis and efficient operations automation.

“Our powerful predictive models for critical engine functions enable alerts well before a breakdown occurs. These notifications are coupled with appropriate instructions to mitigate significant losses. We recognise that the present suite of analytics in the telematics market is not able to interpret diverse signal streams and generate viable, actionable intelligence. That is why we have taken the novel approach of creating digital twins of specialised power-train functions such as battery charging, engine cooling, fuel injection, and assisted air intake.”

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Harnessing the Power of Digital Twin Technology

The data collected by Intangles’ proprietary hardware is transmitted to the cloud via a cellular network, where it is ingested using a highly customised server backbone.

The data is then funnelled into different algorithms, which model the behaviour of systems and components, such as the engine’s cooling system and the fuel tank. The algorithms generate predictive insights on component failure, precise statistics on vehicle performance (fuel consumption, distance, run hours), driving behaviour and automated reports by leveraging geospatial intelligence.

Today, Intangles primarily addresses challenges pertaining to vehicle health, fuel and AdBlue monitoring, driver behaviour monitoring as well as range prediction.

In early 2023, Intangles raised $10 million in Series A fundng.

“The funding further solidifies Intangles’ position as India’s de-facto Digital Twin solution provider, and the proceeds will be used to serve a robust new customer pipeline, expand our global presence and accelerate hiring to strengthen its product engineering, sales and delivery teams.”

Moving forward, Intangles is looking to target medium and large-scale businesses and OEMs that fall under transportation, electric vehicles, alternative fuel, construction and mining equipment, marine engines, power gensets, oil and gas and hybrid powertrain segments.

According to Patil, the company is uniquely positioned to address a $70 billion market that comprises commercial, passenger and electric vehicles, gensets, and farm and construction equipment. Moreover, with the kind of data insights that the company gathers, it further opens up a market opportunities across segments like insurance, tyres, EV batteries, spares and consumables, with a revenue potential of over $28 billion.

Currently, Intangles is working with two of the top 5 commercial vehicle OEMs in India, commanding 23% of the market.

“We aspire to become the Digital Twin Open-Source Software (OSS) of the world across every segment. Our vision is to bring the power of Digital Twin technology to every segment across the globe so that it is accessible and benefits everyone. This will be accomplished while helping fleet operators monitor, benchmark and do predictive maintenance of assets and identify underperforming assets to increase overall operational profits,” says Patil.

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Getting Better Visibility

Intangles has spread across the globe in 17 countries in the Middle East, South East Asia, Europe, the US, Canada and APAC.

“We are aiming to deploy our devices across the entire Commercial Vehicle segment. This also involves vigorous revamps in the Electric Vehicle segment through our extensive Ambient Cognitive AI technology that gives you real-world performance numbers,” says Patil.

“We are also working towards bringing Over-the-Air (OTA) software updates for the ECUs. We are also helping fleet operators stay ahead of the curve by getting better visibility on complex powertrains and simplified analysis of their fleet’s health and daily operations.”

“Our remarkable development and expansion story exemplifies the game-changing potential of Predictive Analytics enabled by Digital Twin technology. We will continue our efforts to redefine performance benchmarks in mobility and transportation in FY’23,” he concludes.

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