Williams invests in connected car supplier Beam Connectivity

Williams invests in connected car supplier Beam Connectivity

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) has backed connected car technology firm Beam Connectivity, a key supplier, in a strategic deal.

Beam Connectivity was formed in 2020 to address the fragmented nature of the connected vehicle systems market by offering a full end-to-end solution from hardware to the cloud. Alex Burns, former chief executive of Williams F1, the original parent company of WAE, and currently chair of Flexion Energy, will join Beam Connectivity as Non-Executive Chair. The value of the investment was not disclosed, 

Beam takes an end-to-end systems view, with one team providing hardware, software, cloud and mobile services. This optimisation of the whole system for performance and robustness rather than being constrained to tweaking sub-components.

It designs bespoke vehicle telematics modules that support multiple wired and wireless protocols in a single integrated unit, coupled with high performance antenna design for cellular 4G/5G, GNSS, SDARS, UWB, WLAN and Bluetooth and a single data bus connection with no RF coax cables

It uses Amazon’s cloud service to deploy an elastic, scalable platform that supports telemetry ingestion, remote commands and file upload/downloads to the vehicle. Vehicle-to-cloud message integrity uses modern cryptography with continuous delivery of OTA global software that is deployable in any region including China supported with automated testing.  

A connected solution needs to be easy to integrate with other systems so Beam provides APIs that are clearly documented, versioned and aligned across the system, with on-vehicle integration via a CAN or Gateway API and IT system APIs (MES, ERP, CRM) as well as a data firehose into in-house analytics platforms and its own analytics platform showing aggregated data and ML insights.

The investment will support Beam Connectivity to scale its connected vehicle offerings, helping to build its commercial team and accelerate the Company’s growth. Having worked with Beam Connectivity on a number of telematics projects previously, the team at WAE are committed to working together to offer long term solutions to customers and capitalise on new market opportunities.

Beam is also leading the AutoCHERI project to demonstrate the secure CHERI technology for cyber critical and safety critical applications. It is developing a processor based on Morello architecture for each use case, and measuring the security / safety / performance trade-offs and the impact of CHERI.

The connected vehicle market is forecast to reach $160bn by 2028 says Mordor Intelligence. This growth is driven by the growing need to monitor fleets of vehicles in real time and the opportunity for efficiency improvements including over the air software updates and implementation of vehicle connectivity legislation and standards.

Craig Wilson, CEO of WAE, said: “Beam Connectivity are a key supplier to WAE and have built an excellent relationship with our engineering team. We are delighted to further our relationship through this investment which will bring Beam Connectivity’s class leading connectivity solutions to market faster.”

“Beam Connectivity supports several vehicle manufacturers, providing them with a best-in-class connectivity system and high value vehicle insights. This investment will enable us to grow our commercial team and accelerate the deployment of our Connected Vehicle as a Service platform. We have strong alignment with WAE and are pleased to strengthen our relationship with them through this investment,” said Thomas Sors, CEO of Beam Connectivity.

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