Dr. Juan R. Pimentel

Professor of Computer Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Kettering University
(formerly General Motors Institute, GMI)
[Kettering University Logo]

Professional Information

Short Biography
Long Biography

Member of the Administration Committee of the Industrial Electronics Society
Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Past Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing

  Kettering University
Courses normally taught:
Computer Engineering Capstone Design
Independent Studies
Computer Networks
Distributed Embedded Systems

Connected Car Laboratory

State of the Art of Telemetry Systems
WHITE PAPER: Cloud-based Vehicle Analytics

Connected Car Laboratory Projects

Safety Critical Automotive Systems
Scalable SCADA System Design

Vehicle Cyber-Security

Several vehicles have been hacked in the last few years and one recently involved a 2014 Jeep Cherokee being hacked remotely and wirelessly over the Internet! These type of events indicate that there is a serious threat to the security and safety of automobiles and drivers. The project involves research into in-vehicle intrusion detection systems and ways ways to make a vehicle safer and more secure.

Uploading In-Vehicle Data to the Cloud

The same types of sensors and network connections that make it possible to operate a vehicle can be used to monitor how vehicles are performing to enable condition based maintenance routines that are far more cost-effective than periodic maintenance or performing maintenance after a problem occurs. Tracking performance data can also help vehicle manufacturers design more reliable products and discover other ways to serve customers. This project involves uploading all of in-vehicle data to the cloud for further performance analysis based on high level analytics. The project involves the following tasks: real-time data collection, data classification, data compression, data upload protocol and procedure, data uppacking, and data analytics at the cloud.

Cloud Based Vehicle Analytics

Having in-vehicle data on the cloud is happening today and is paving the way to perform powerful data analytics on this data. Cloud-based vehicle analytics appears to be an advantageous technology to implement OBD III. More research is needed to ensure that cloud-based vehicle analytics is functionaly equivalent to analytics currently done through OBD II and to validate the entire approach so that concerns of multiple stakeholders are properly addressed. Cloud-based vehicle analytics offers the potential to re-engineer OBD III with what matters the most: improving emissions, fuel economy, maintenance and repairs all while addressing stakeholders concerns. The timing is right for in depth scrutiny and reassessment of the functions of the upcoming concept of OBD III in light of cloud-based vehicle analytics.

How to get Involved

Laboratory Resources

Software Defined Radio (SDR)

BladeRF, a development board

MyriadRF, another development board

DigiRed, yet another development board

Vector CANtech Inc.
CANoe: The comprehensive tool for CAN projects.
CANcaseXL: A USB interface for CAN with a selection of bus drivers.

Puma (Wireless Vehicle Monitoring and Control System)

The Mathworks Inc.
Real Time Workshop (RTW)

Other resources
PC workstations with the Windows 7 and Linux operating systems connected to the Internet.
Android Studio Development Platform.
Internet of Things (IoT) Development Platform.
Assortment of small computers that include Arduino, Raspberry Pi 2, Bleaglebone with wired and wireless connectivity.
Allen Bradley PLC, MicroLogic 1400 with Modbus Communications.
T-boards (ECUs) containing Motorola MCS12 (S12) microcontrollers.
IAR. A windows based software development environment that incudes a C-compiler, assembler, and linker.
Debugging and software download modules (IAR C-Spy with P&E Background debugger module (BDM)).

Description of Laboratory Experiments (PDF)

Distributed Embedded System Laboratory Description

A new laboratory and course at Kettering designed to help students and faculty design and experiment with the next generation of automotive electronic technology, particularly hybrid/electric and electric vehicles has been established. One of the goals of the new laboratory is  to develop state-of-the-art communication systems for future  vehicles, which would allow electronics components to talk to each other and thus create a driving experience unknown to todays drivers. The lab supports a new course in the computer engineering program titled Distributed Embedded Systems (CE-482) . Other uses of the lab involve senior capstone design and independent study projects.

Prof. Pimentel has worked with Vector CANtech Inc. (www.vector-cantech.com), a worldwide provider of powerful software and high-end tools for controller area networks (CAN), to put this lab on its feet and provide the cutting edge technology tools necessary to teach students in the development of information technology for future automotive applications.

Another partner company working with Kettering is dSPACE Inc. (www.dspaceinc.com),  a company that provides complete solutions for electronic control unit (ECU) software development and dedicated services in the fields of simulation, function prototyping, target implementation, and ECU testing. Other  lab resources include Matlab/Simulink, Real Time Workshop (RTW), six microcontrollers, six software development environments, and six debugging and software download modules.

This software package allows users to move from a totally simulated system to an actual vehicle product which is very helpful to the automotive industry because it saves time in development. More importantly, information technology networking in the automobile is becoming increasingly important and the use of controller area networks is at the heart of this whole movement. This new laboratory will use CAN in many applications, which in turn will help others better use the technology. Based on Ketterings reputation and prestige in the automotive industry, Vector CANtech is interested in the experience of the University lab's use of the CANoe software. Given the right tools, Kettering University students are outstanding in using these resources in creative and innovative ways to solve a variety of engineering problems,. The University is interested in partnering with interested companies that could provide appropriate tools to Kettering because they empower students to deliver significant accomplishments.

It is expected that this lab will be very successful, in terms of what it will offer Kettering students and researchers, and also by what it provides our partner companies. But most important, the automotive industry will benefit from the new discoveries and potential for important research, which may change the way we drive in the near future.

The future of the lab is also very promising. The equipment can also handle other communication technologies, such as LIN (a network involving automotive sensors and actuators), FlexRay, Real-Time Ethernet, and MOST (a network for in-vehicle audio and video communications). FlexRay is another in-vehicle communication network suited for for safety-critical applications like those involving chassis systems (e.g., drive-by-wire). Other future uses of the lab include model-based simulation and rapid prototyping of automotive functions.

Dr. Juan R. Pimentel 
Computer Engineering Program
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Kettering University
1700 W. Third Avenue 
Flint, MI 48504
Phone: 810-762-7990 
Toll-Free: 800-955-4464 x7990 
Fax: 810-762-9830

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