Entries by David Wray

Crashing your Connected Car (Demo) Can Be a Good Thing

In recent years, Solace has established itself as a leading technology supplier to the connected vehicle market. Our customers include leading car makers, auto parts manufacturers, rail companies and air traffic agencies like the FAA.

While these all make great case studies, nothing beats a live demo. Especially if it ends in a car crash. Who can look away from a car crash?

With that in mind a colleague and I recently put together a demo that simulates simple, visceral examples of how our customers use Solace technology in connected vehicle use cases, including an actual (toy) car crash.

If you’re interested, watch this 90 second video, then read below for a blow-by-blow of what you’ve just seen, what’s going on behind the scenes, and how it applies to real world connected vehicle projects.

Seriously, go ahead. I’ll wait!

OK, let’s talk about what you just saw…

Architecture

First, I’ll summarize the major components of the demo:

  • Connected cars: The remote control car with the phone strapped to its roof represents a car with embedded sensors and 4G connectivity.

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Solace Chat: Leveraging Solace for Peer-To-Peer Banter!

The pub/sub features of the Solace API provide a rich feature set which can be wrapped in a simple GUI to implement a peer-to-peer chat application. Solace Chat is a simple Java GUI wrapper around the Solace API.  It enables broadcast and private text message delivery to a peer-to-peer network of users connected to Solace Message Routers.  Users can leverage Solace’s Multi-Node Routing and WAN distribution capabilities to deliver messages from a local Solace Router to users connected to any other Router, provided there is an MNR link between the Routers on the network.

I originally developed this application in a few days to test connectivity during an internal Solace Hackathon where we configured the largest interconnected mesh of Solace Routers ever deployed running worldwide across every availability zone in Amazon EC2.  The idea was that each Solace engineer would connect the chat application to the hackathon VPN their own local VMR and if the neighbour links were configured correctly they would be able to broadcast a message to everyone on the VPN mesh to announce the fact they had finished.… Read the rest