automobile proving ground
Image: Mario Hagen/Adobe Stock

GM engineers now have a wireless solution to keep up with the fast cars on one of the company’s proving grounds. Cisco announced this week that the automaker is using the Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul system. GM installed the Cisco technology at the performance tracks of the Milford Proving Ground where vehicle speeds can exceed 100 mph.

Stephen Jenkins, director of global labs, proving grounds operations and materials engineering, said in a press release that this connectivity allows GM engineers to perform real-time analysis and stream information directly into the enterprise data center without any buffering or human intervention.

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Cisco’s wireless backhaul technology provides up to 500Mbps with ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth wireless and private mobile connectivity.

Cisco’s technology makes it possible for GM engineers to switch between simulation and physical testing by allowing large amounts of data to move between systems quickly and efficiently, Jenkins said.

Michael Shannon, VP of engineering for Cisco IoT, said in a press release that the faster connectivity helps GM shorten engineering cycles which improves time to market for technical innovations.”

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Other installations of this Cisco product include a cable car in an Italian ski resort and shipping hubs in Malta and Italy. The wireless technology also powered an autonomous race at the Indy Motor Speedway in October 2021.

The Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul system came from Cisco’s acquisition of Fluidmesh Network. The system provides fiber-like performance in mines, railways and theme parks. The service uses free spectrum.

Securing IoT installations

Adding high-speed connectivity can make life easier in industrial settings by improving safety and efficiency. Manufacturing leaders have accelerated plans to automate plant operations over the last year due to the pandemic. Security needs to be an integral part of these plans, but one study suggests this isn’t happening. New research from Kaspersky shows that 43% of businesses don’t protect their IoT installations which increases the risk of cybersecurity breaches and data compromises.

Kaspersky recommends using these four tactics to improve overall IoT security:

  • Assess the status of a device’s security before deploying it
  • Use a strict access policy, network segmentation and a zero-trust model
  • Adopt a vulnerability management program
  • Use a dedicated IoT gateway

The security analysts also suggest following the best practices from the IoT Security Maturity Model. These guidelines provide a plan for communicating with business stakeholders which can help win support for developing a comprehensive security roadmap. This model enables stakeholders to make strategic decisions on where to invest to implement security practices appropriate to the needs and constraints of the specific IoT system.