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Author Topic: Remote servicing options for Zero  (Read 742 times)

rDacted

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Remote servicing options for Zero
« on: June 30, 2016, 12:17:44 PM »

Hey all,

Having recently purchased my zero from another city I find myself unable to find someone to service it locally. The nearest Zero dealership is about three hours away. Although I have a mechanic who is able to service the mechanical aspects of it, I still require a Zero dealer to poke at the electronics for the warranty to be maintained.

This got me thinking about remote servicing for the electrical components. In theory if the service only requires checking the bike electronically then I should be able to have it performed remotely. If they discover anything electronic that needs replacement then I'd be happy to transport it to the nearest Zero dealer, but until then it would be far more convenient for me to have things done remotely.

Having looked at the diagnostics port I believe I can make a cable that will allow them to connect to my bike remotely. Basically they plug something into their cable, and I plug something into my bike, and magically their software can see my bike.

I've floated this past my nearest dealership and they appear lukewarm about the idea. My question is, is there a Zero dealership that you deal with that might be interested in giving this a shot? I mean it's essentially free money for doing a small amount of work (I assume) and letting me tick off my requirement to have the bike serviced regularly.

On the other hand, is there anyone else who finds a similar appeal to having their ebike serviced remotely?
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BrianTRice

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2016, 12:38:53 PM »

This is a great idea, although diagnostics are only going to pick up what the software firmware reports and not deeper issues. That might be a narrower window of diagnostics than you suspect.

I assume you offer a way to remotely/securely sign in to a computer you own that's using the cable.

FYI there is a wiki manual covering some of this:
http://zeromanual.com/index.php/Main_Page
http://zeromanual.com/index.php/Unofficial_Service_Manual#Diagnostics

If I had to pick a dealer ready for this, Hollywood Electrics would be at the top of that list. Once you enable remote access, you can just pick the most knowledgeable dealer.
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Zero: 2016 DSR, 2013 DS
Also: 2012 Suzuki DL-650 V-Strom Adv

rDacted

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2016, 02:16:53 PM »

You're correct, electronic servicing won't discover all issues - but in my case I'll have another motorcycle mechanic look after the rest of the bike, I just need a zero mechanic to look after the electronics. Hopefully that'll cover me for warranty purposes.

Regarding secure signin - that's something I was going to design into my cable, but my intent isn't to offer it as a service. If remote servicing interests people I could make the cable available and give instructions on how to secure the comms. In my mind I'm not sure I'd trust a third party to secure my data - so I'm not sure why anyone should trust me :) Of course, if securing the data is beyond the skills of the person using my cable then we might be able to come to an arrangement - but it's not currently part of my design.

Thanks for the links regarding the diagnostics cable. I've already been through them and I'm confident this is possible to achieve (latency could be an issue, but we'll cross that bridge later) I've also interfaced with my bike so I'm confirmed my understanding is ok.

Thanks for the tip regarding Hollywood Electrics! I'll contact them once I have create a proof-of-concept cable.
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tico

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2016, 09:38:18 PM »

Yes!

We absolutely need something like this. I'm stuck in the situation of a non-responsive local dealer that has previously refused to perform warranty work on my Zero, or renting a truck to haul my motorcycle to the nearest dealers 3 or 4 hours away.

I (and many other mechanics) can absolutely do all the regular maintenance/repairs, but as long as Zero requires that only their dealers perform diagnostics and they refuse to release service manuals, there will be a demand for this or anything like this.

And even if there wasn't, I would much prefer to work with a [remote] technician that handles Zero bikes every day, rather than a dealer mechanic that might see one or two per year.
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MrDude_1

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2016, 11:53:42 PM »

All it takes is one loose lipped pro-zero-owner dealer to post here: http://zeromanual.com/index.php/Unofficial_Service_Manual  and we wont have these problems...
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tico

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 02:47:12 AM »

Seriously! I'm kind of amazed that it hasn't happened yet. It seems pretty rare for widely known secrets to remain secret.
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BrianTRice

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 03:33:41 AM »

The wiki manual is really new and we're not broadcasting widely, so it'll take time for someone to notice and then decide what to do about it. Honestly, I'm trying to figure out how to draw a line about what to publicize, focusing on helpful diagnostic advice and avoiding how to disable safety features or enter dangerous modes meant for testing by professionals. (Or telling people to ask experts privately, kind of a barrier to participation but allows the opportunity to ensure someone is aware of risks involved and skills needed.)

For what it's worth, a dealer doing remote diagnostics will want to get paid for it. Sure, it's less than an hour to analyze logs and probe some software commands, but that's an hour away from local customers or other work. If you want a dealer to buy into this, ask them how they would want to make money on it.
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Zero: 2016 DSR, 2013 DS
Also: 2012 Suzuki DL-650 V-Strom Adv

firepower

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 03:57:59 AM »

more advance information that may be of concern should only be available to login members and verified by agreement and waiver via email so no risk to site or admins.
User should accept risk of any work they agree too.
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BrianTRice

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2016, 04:03:48 AM »

more advance information that may be of concern should only be available to login members and verified by agreement and waiver via email so no risk to site or admins.

MediaWiki does not support that by design; it's more of an all-or-none arrangement based on being logged in at all.

We'd have to set up a separate instance for reverse-engineered or dangerous knowledge, or shut out anonymous viewers from the wiki itself. For now, this doesn't feel worth the risk.

Per https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Preventing_access#Restrict_viewing_of_certain_specific_pages

User should accept risk of any work they agree too.

Yeah, we do have a notice on the Why page.
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Zero: 2016 DSR, 2013 DS
Also: 2012 Suzuki DL-650 V-Strom Adv

rDacted

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016, 04:56:34 AM »

For what it's worth, a dealer doing remote diagnostics will want to get paid for it. Sure, it's less than an hour to analyze logs and probe some software commands, but that's an hour away from local customers or other work. If you want a dealer to buy into this, ask them how they would want to make money on it.

Absolutely! My intent is to pay them for the work they do. However I would much rather pay a dealer that makes my life easier by allowing remote diagnostics, than pay a dealer that requires me to transport the bike 3 hours each way. For the extra cost and hassle I might even consider paying them double their time.

Keeping people in the loop, I'm in the process of building a proof of concept cable using the MCP2551 and MCP2515 CAN/ODB2 bus interface and a raspberry pi (it was convenient) The Pi will handle comms with the ODB2 interface as well as the serial port - and send the data it sees over a VPN to my server. From there it will be relayed to the other half of this 'virtual cable' to the dealer, where an almost identical setup will do the same in reverse. Apart from the latency (which might be significant if I have a US dealer look at my bike - I'm in Australia) I don't anticipate any potential issues from a technology point of view.
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MrDude_1

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2016, 07:07:01 AM »

This is where Brian and I differ.
I lean more towards the "make everything public, regardless of risk, down to the firmware code"... Some of that comes from the gray area days when we were decompiling GM ECUs to tune early EFI cars.. and then later fun stuff like HP tuners and EFI live came out and it became much easier... those guys had a "inside" view of things that you cant just figure out.

Everything you post as a how to can be used by someone ignorant to destroy the vehicle.
The guy that drilled holes in the ECU mounting a tail tidy comes to mind.:


I think the risk should remain with the end user. If we as a community dont support people that want to modify their bikes beyond "the norm".. they will slowly die out.
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BrianTRice

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2016, 11:41:37 AM »

Let's say I'm playing a diplomatic game rather than disagreeing. I want to know all these things, I want to avoid lawsuits for me or the manufacturer, and I want some good will / good faith all around.

There's definitely a reasonable argument (we agree on) that certain knowledge is needed to prevent an owner from damaging their own bike, and making the risks transparent by describing the systems is part of that. The wiki disclaimer and some of the spelled out "hey, live power is in here" warnings do that for us now. "Your very critical ECU is right under this panel" is unambiguously good to imply.

I'm saying there's a line we could cross, haven't, and I'm unsure how we'll deal with it as we get closer to it. That knowledge you gained to tune EFIs by decompiling firmware code didn't exactly go on the same public access, well-indexed website (or PDF service manual) that people used to change their fork oil and clutch plates. It went on a forum, right? Engineers swapping disassembled code and engineering plots on forum posts has an inherent barrier to entry. It puts it at arm's length; there's "public accessible" and "public techie" where an easy threshold can be communicated. I mean, it was you who set up the outline of common vs advanced modifications (which was good), and that is a similar kind of line.

I'll facetiously propose a wiki section: "serious wizard modifications" or maybe "Doc Brown" or "Never Go Full Tesla" which could carry such things.

For argument's sake, here's what Zero could do if we cost them a lot of money by doing this: police warrantee claims thoroughly to make us pay for things that break, adding annoying tamper detections, and sealing up their systems so tight we can't keep up with new model system information. For them, we make some good faith efforts to gently steer people away from hacking firmware or such.

I'm honestly more concerned about Sevcon than Zero. Sevcon has a real industrial business with legitimate safety / liability concerns ("oh look, we found a vulnerability that could destroy their forklift and small truck businesses"), and electric motorcycles for them make a small line of business but might turn into a real nuisance. And clearly they do more than frown upon people using their customization software: they send Cease and Desist notices.

Anyway, I hope we only disagree about "how" and not "what".
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Zero: 2016 DSR, 2013 DS
Also: 2012 Suzuki DL-650 V-Strom Adv

MrDude_1

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Re: Remote servicing options for Zero
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2016, 06:41:16 PM »

Let's say I'm playing a diplomatic game rather than disagreeing..... Anyway, I hope we only disagree about "how" and not "what".

exactly. im just less diplomatic. lol.
In anycase its a moot issue for 98% of the users anyway. Only 2% will want to know, and less than half of them will actually do anything.

for now the focus is just on getting it to the point where a competent person can change their bearings or swap fork springs without having to have their bike sit at a dealer for 3 weeks.
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