If there’s something wrong with your Chiron, Bugatti can dispatch one of its “flying doctors.” The on-call technicians can fly out to the car’s location at a moment’s notice to deal with it in person. But the “doctor” doesn’t need to wait until he gets there in order to see what’s wrong.
The Alsatian automaker fits each of its hypercars with a telemetry system that monitors thousands of the car’s parameters. And it can transmit them back to the factory in real time. It’s the type of system typically employed in Formula One or DTM. But the manufacturer says it’s the only one using it on a road car. (The closest we’ve seen is Koenigsegg, whose founding chief executive can track where all his cars are at any given time via a dedicated app.)
“Bugatti’s telemetry system is our version of the connected car – exclusive and individual for our customers and saving time and money for our developers,” said electrical engineer Nortbert Uffmann, who’s responsible for the system. “This is ‘Connected Car‘ à la Bugatti, and it has already been available for more than a decade.”
Diagnostic For The Flying Doctor
The system is installed in a small aluminum device about the size of a shoebox. Inside it’s packed with electronics and radio transmitters that communicate back to headquarters via cellular connectivity.
That’s how one of the flying doctors was able to determine, for example, that a Chiron in the Persian Gulf region had one of its tires under-inflated before he got on a plane to travel 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) to the car’s location. It also serves as a LoJack of sorts, tracking a vehicle’s location in case it’s stolen and notifying the owner (and manufacturer) if something suspicious is going on. Like if it’s been loaded onto a truck, for example.
Bugatti first installed the telemetry system in the Veyron back in 2004. But the latest version now fitted to the Chiron upgrades on the original capabilities by transmitting it all in real time. “At that time, we really broke new ground,” says Uffmann. “Bugatti is the first automobile manufacturer to apply telemetry on a production vehicle. And we are still unique in this respect.”
The automaker employs three “flying doctors,” each responsible for a geographic region. There’s one for Europe (and Russia), another for the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, and a third for North America. If something’s wrong with one of the cars under their care, the technician gets an alert right on his phone, and can communicate directly with the owner.
“Our customers have the most demanding requirements for individual support in all areas of their lives. That also applies to their vehicle fleets and automobile collections,” says Hendrik Malinowski, Bugatti’s head of sales. “In this area too, Bugatti goes one step further than other manufacturers. With our telemetry system, we can provide our customers with assistance in all technical matters related to their Bugatti. At any hour of the day and, if necessary, also of the night.”