Engineers responsible for e-Scooter and e-Bike dashboard interface design are focusing on two critical aspects: more effectively integrating smartphones with the dashboard and making BMS (Battery Management System) data readily available.
Figure 1. E-scooters and e-bikes need digital dashboards that not only integrate well with user devices but with the BMS as well. Image provided courtesy of Pixabay.
e-Scooters and e-Bikes: Growing Demand and Better Engineering
According to information compiled by Statista on e-Scooters, experts predict that by 2026 the number of e-Scooter users is expected to reach 124.8 million worldwide, and the number of e-Bikes in use is also rapidly expanding worldwide.
While e-Scooters and e-Bikes, such as the one shown in Figure 1, remain a rapidly growing market, issues related to safety and BMS data still need to be better addressed -- both of which depend heavily on dashboard design.
One of the main dangers of e-Scooters and e-Bikes lies in distractions, including interactions with cell phones and smartwatches that pull the user's attention away from the road. This poses a danger both for the user and for those around them , as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Being distracted by a phone call or suddenly realizing battery levels are low can be dangerous for e-Bike and e-cooter users.Image provided courtesy of Pixabay.
Furthermore, users need easy access to information about the battery system powering their e-Bike or e-Scooter. Making this information available through the dashboard provides an excellent solution to a critical issue. So how can a total solution be integrated into a digital dashboard?
Bluetooth Dashboard Total Solutions
Standard dashboards for e-Bikes and e-Scooters already provide real-time speed and basic information related to GPS, navigation, and the battery. As we have discussed, better solutions, must include two things:
1. Wireless communication between dashboards and smartphones;
2. Integration of the dashboard interface with the BMS.
A key aspect of this type of dashboard design would include a wireless connection (i.e., Bluetooth) to facilitate smartphone - dashboard cooperation. For an effective total dashboard solution, the ideal approach would be to integrate real-time BMS data on the same dashboard that supports minimal distraction to the user. This would include access to critical information related to the battery, such as battery capacity, usage, temperature monitoring, charge remaining, and monitoring of potential over-discharge. But, again, this requires integration with BMS technology. However, e-Scooter and e-Bike dashboard solutions such as this have proven to be challenging for several reasons. Manufacturers have encountered problems when attempting to implement comprehensive dashboard solutions, including BOM (Bill of Materials), cost, and the level of integration that can be achieved between the BMS and the dashboard.
A Potential Solution for BMS Dashboards from Realtek
The Realtek RTL8762DK, shown in Figure 3, is an ultra-low power SOC (System-on-Chip) designed for Bluetooth 5.1 low-energy applications -- and an excellent option for a total solution that links allows wireless connection between a dashboard and smartphone while providing real-time data from the BMS.
Figure 3. The Realtek RTL8762DK supports various modes of functionality for e-Bike and e-Scooter dashboards.
The RTL8762DK supports the Bluetooth 5.1 core specification and 2 Mbps LE, LE advertising extensions, and LE Long Rang that support wireless connections with the helmet microphone and sound headset, dashboard, and smartphone. For example, information about incoming phone calls is pushed to the dashboard. From there, the user only needs to press the answer button on the handlebar and talk via the headset. Notifications for messages and navigation are available through the dashboard, as is other critical information related to weather and geolocation.
Its platform is based on an ARM Cortex-M4F that uses a 6-bit instruction set with a 32-bit extension, with a maximum of 90MHz, and a serial flash control with a 164kB 4-way cache. The ARM Cortex platform is responsible for coordinating the Bluetooth connection, overseeing the interface with a smartphone, and receiving/requesting data from the BMS.
This MCU supports fast and efficient program execution. Realtek's RTL8762DK offers 192kB serial RAM, a serial PSRAM controller, and 4Kbits eFuse reserved for manufacturer use. It also supports AES128/192/256 encrypt/decrypt engine for security.
In addition, the RTL8762DK has a low-energy PMU (Power Management Unit) to ensure efficient use of power while in use or on standby.
Finally, it has a minimal footprint with a QFN48 6x6 mm package.
However, the RTL8762DK is only part of the solution to address sharing BMS data on the dashboard. The Realtek RTL8762CMF can be used, as illustrated below in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Combining the new RTL8762DK with the RTL8762CMF Intelligent BMS provides a total dashboard solution that is reliable and safe.
Realtek's RTL8762CMF Intelligent BMS not only effectively manages the battery system but allows users access to receive notifications related to battery usage and pack temperature on their dashboards. Intelligent BMS also can record battery pack charge and discharge time history; battery pack over-discharge monitoring is a key part of the total dashboard solution.
As more e-Scooters and e-Bikes hit the roads worldwide, users need a total dashboard solution that integrates not only with the BMS but also with the user's devices. The Realtek RTL8762DK delivers an effective, power efficient, low-cost total dashboard solution that readily integrates with BMS.
Its design supports easy debugging and a faster time to market, as well as lower BOM costs and a high level of integration between the dashboard, user devices, and the BMS.
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