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General Motors will be the first automaker to use an almost completely wireless battery management system, or wBMS, for production electric vehicles. The wireless battery monitoring system will be standard on all planned GM vehicles powered by Ultium batteries.
  • Up to 90% weight reduction = greater range
  • The space and flexibility created by this reduction in wires not only enables a cleaner design, but also simpler and more streamlined battery restructuring as needed
  • Time won’t be needed to develop specific communications systems or redesign complex wiring schemes for each new vehicle = enabling scalability of Ultium batteries across GM’s future lineup including trucks and performance vehicles
  • The wBMS’ basic structure can easily receive new features as software becomes available. With expanded over-the-air updates provided by GM’s all-new Vehicle Intelligence Platform, the system could even be upgraded over time with new software-based features via smartphone-like updates.
  • Protected by cybersecurity measures that are foundational to the company’s all-new electrical architecture or Vehicle Intelligence Platform. The DNA of this syst
 

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GM can't even get four TPMS wireless sensors working 100%. Will they be able to get hundreds of battery wireless sensors working?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
GM can't even get four TPMS wireless sensors working 100%. Will they be able to get hundreds of battery wireless sensors working?
I suspect you are referring to an isolated incident. I have seen nothing to indicate everyone's TPMS is no longer working. My Volt's TPMS has been working flawlessly for over 9 years. My 2017 Bolt's TPMS is also fine.

I doubt GM and it's partner Honda will base an entire multi-billion dollar EV program on a wireless monitoring system that does not work. It's a bit like claiming that the GM brake rotors on one car rusted, therefore, no way they can make rotors that don't rust. And yet, they did create a treatment that kept my rotors rust free for over 8 years.

The new wireless system is a remarkable paradigm shift. The concerns I have are security (they say it will be secure, but...), and to your point reliability. Assuming at some point there will be a hardware failure, how fault tolerant or redundant is the system? How easy will in be to replace a haywire component?

But the benefits of a wireless system are significant. That GM is the first is also significant, though they will likely be soon followed by others.
 

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In the link, I did not see mention of a 90% weight reduction - just a 90% reduction in the wiring within the battery modules. Still, Ultium looks good
 

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I suspect you are referring to an isolated incident. I have seen nothing to indicate everyone's TPMS is no longer working. My Volt's TPMS has been working flawlessly for over 9 years. My 2017 Bolt's TPMS is also fine.

I doubt GM and it's partner Honda will base an entire multi-billion dollar EV program on a wireless monitoring system that does not work. It's a bit like claiming that the GM brake rotors on one car rusted, therefore, no way they can make rotors that don't rust. And yet, they did create a treatment that kept my rotors rust free for over 8 years.

The new wireless system is a remarkable paradigm shift. The concerns I have are security (they say it will be secure, but...), and to your point reliability. Assuming at some point there will be a hardware failure, how fault tolerant or redundant is the system? How easy will in be to replace a haywire component?

But the benefits of a wireless system are significant. That GM is the first is also significant, though they will likely be soon followed by others.
Check any GM forum, including this one, and you'll find reports of TPMS failures relating to the communications. It's unfortunately not that rare. My concern is that while TPMS isn't critical, the battery management system in an EV is critical and GM hasn't yet mastered four senders to one receiver to five nines.

I see the benefits of using wireless technology but I simply don't think this is the way to go. Tesla had been looking at it for the Model Y and instead went with a very simplified central network bus that everything plugs into. Wires are far more reliable and secure.
 

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Suspiciously, my TMPS started acting weird after I took on 2018 to a dealer just for an inspection due to a re-fi of the loan...... now they show weird pressures at startup and kinda level out once you are driving..... they did not do this in the first 42k miles of my cars life...... and now they seem to show pressure changes more often while driving...... no big deal, but annoying as it happened after a forced dealer visit.... S I G H ..... just my story.

As for wireless battery management, I am sure they sell it as better for the consumer, but it will always be better for the company in the end...... personally, I prefer a solid wire.
 

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I have to suspect that the new wBMS system will be a magnitude more hardened and secured. TPMS is a nice luxury feature, but hardly a show stopper. I also would think that it will be less exposed to the elements than a tire sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As for wireless battery management, I am sure they sell it as better for the consumer, but it will always be better for the company in the end...... personally, I prefer a solid wire.
Which is why you never operate your phone or headset or laptop wirelessly right? ;)
 

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Which is why you never operate your phone or headset or laptop wirelessly right? ;)
Those aren't critical functions. If you have a chance, take a look at a hospital - critical devices are all wired. Yes, for office visits the equipment is wireless, but all critical care equipment is wired. There are still too many failures for wireless communications to be used.

As for the headset, I gave up on wireless headsets because the Bluetooth protocol, or at least Intel's Bluetooth implementation, doesn't switch audio devices very cleanly.
 

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I have to suspect that the new wBMS system will be a magnitude more hardened and secured. TPMS is a nice luxury feature, but hardly a show stopper. I also would think that it will be less exposed to the elements than a tire sensor.
Tire sensors and transmitters aren't exposed to the elements - they're inside the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Those aren't critical functions. If you have a chance, take a look at a hospital - critical devices are all wired. Yes, for office visits the equipment is wireless, but all critical care equipment is wired. There are still too many failures for wireless communications to be used.

As for the headset, I gave up on wireless headsets because the Bluetooth protocol, or at least Intel's Bluetooth implementation, doesn't switch audio devices very cleanly.
Got it. You might want to short GM given that a few failing tire sensors or receivers prove their new wireless BMS can't possibly work, and their whole EV program based on it will fail spectacularly as they both have "wireless" in common. Given that, all wireless key fobs are doomed as well. Wireless radio? Ditto. Sure, the tech has been around over a hundred years, but it's "wireless" and because some wireless tire sensors have failed, radios are next. After all, whether key fob, radio, TPMS or the wireless BMS under development, all wireless tech is the same. /s
 

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Got it. You might want to short GM given that a few failing tire sensors or receivers prove their new wireless BMS can't possibly work, and their whole EV program based on it will fail spectacularly as they both have "wireless" in common. Given that, all wireless key fobs are doomed as well. Wireless radio? Ditto. Sure, the tech has been around over a hundred years, but it's "wireless" and because some wireless tire sensors have failed, radios are next. After all, whether key fob, radio, TPMS or the wireless BMS under development, all wireless tech is the same. /s
And everyone of those items fails on an all too often basis. And not just GM's implementation. Critical systems should never be wireless for a variety of reasons, among them communications reliability and data security.

I definitely agree that the wiring in modern cars has gotten out of hand, and EVs generally have even more wiring. This is the result of organic growth over time and occurs in all complex systems. GM would be better off emulating Tesla in this one area - use a high bandwidth backbone with connections from the battery sensors.
 

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Only problem I ever had with TPMS is getting Discount tire to set them right after a rotation! LOL:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The argument that wireless is unsafe reminds me of those against fly-by-wre vs mechanical controls on aircraft. First implemented in military jets and later in commercial. the concerns about fly-by-wire were addressed by employing redundancy.

I don't know what redundancy GM is planning if any.

Interestingly, fly-by-wireless is being looked at for the same reasons GM is developing it for BMS.

Wiring adds a considerable amount of weight to an aircraft; therefore, researchers are exploring implementing fly-by-wireless solutions. Fly-by-wireless systems are very similar to fly-by-wire systems, however, instead of using a wired protocol for the physical layer a wireless protocol is employed.

In addition to reducing weight, implementing a wireless solution has the potential to reduce costs throughout an aircraft's life cycle. For example, many key failure points associated with wire and connectors will be eliminated thus hours spent troubleshooting wires and connectors will be reduced. Furthermore, engineering costs could potentially decrease because less time would be spent on designing wiring installations, late changes in an aircraft's design would be easier to manage, etc.
 
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