• Springworks’ SPARK is an IoT platform that collects data from millions of cars, and connects their drivers with a network of services.
  • It’s instant value for drivers and an attractive new business model for mobile operators and car service providers.
  • For Springworks to land and expand with their new model, they had to get
    three things right: speed to market, the ability to scale seamlessly, and guaranteed data security.
  • With AWS, Springworks were able to innovate, as well as scale-up and secure their infrastructure in just a few months.
  • Swedish mobile giant Telia Company are deploying SPARK on all of their markets in Nordics and Baltics and other European mobile operators are following suit.

It’s January. First payday since moving house.
You’re planning finances for this month. You
check your banking app for January payments.
After playing with the numbers you get a
pleasant surprise – there’s money left over!
Sorted. Time to book that weekend away. A few
clicks – tickets confirmed. Amazing.
You get in your car. Wait a minute. Isn’t your
MOT due in January? Oh God. And doesn’t
your car insurance renew now? It does. Bye-bye
nest egg.
What do you do now? Where do you even get an
MOT in this town? 

What if your car could talk to you? What if it
could warn you about service deadlines ahead
of time? What if it could direct you to the nearest
service provider?
SPARK is a cloud-based car-connecting platform
by Springworks that lets vehicles communicate
with drivers on demand. Between weather,
banking, and traffic alerts, drivers are kept
informed on everything from servicing deadlines
and recommendations to safety alerts and
diagnostics, so they never get nasty surprises –
they’re always sorted.
This is the story of how SPARK went from a great idea to a successful business model.

Old school vehicle diagnostics and service communications weren’t up to scratch – and Springworks knew it. They’d also come to a realization: people who own cars ought to benefit from the data generated by them.

So they launched SPARK – a platform that lets car owners receive key data about their vehicles at the touch of a button, served straight from the cloud, direct to their smartphones. And it connects them with service providers that can sort any issues that might come up – from MOTs to tyre changes.

Springworks also had an ambition – 20 million talking cars in Europe by 2020. But to achieve it, they had to tackle a few problems.

Each talking car generates about 10,000 data points per day. To handle 20 million cars, Springworks needed a system that could handle several billion data points in one go. As a company with a background in gaming, they’d been through the ins and outs of on-premise (like colocation services and physical racks.) That wasn’t good enough. They wanted limitless scale.

And in order to hit the market with a great new product, Springworks needed to be able to focus on innovation. When they started out, the release cycle as about 2 weeks for a new feature – but the team wanted to move faster.

Finally, data security: for a new market offer that was looking to partner with the big mobile networks, security couldn’t be an afterthought. It had to be built into the SPARK infrastructure from the start.

Determined to follow vision, Springworks turned to AWS. They used Elastic Load Balancing and Autoscaling to manage their powerful APIs – suddenly, it didn’t matter whether they had a hundred or a million cars talking at once, they could “scale without limits,” in the words of Springworks CTO Kristofer Sommestad. And the workload dropped instantly – today, the entire platform can be operated by a team of 30 instead of 3,000, which “eliminates the need for an operations department,” according to Sommestad.Then they used Lambda and SNS to automate responses to events. “Because we didn’t have to run code manually anymore, we were able to focus on innovation – and accelerate releases by

something like 300%”, says Sommestad. Instead of one feature every two weeks, they’re now shipping two features weekly. Finally they used services like CloudTrail and EC2 to build a secure, compliance-friendly infrastructure – had they not turned to AWS, they’d still be building two years from now.

SPARK began to attract partners, and teams of car service providers wanting to promote their products via the platform.A few months later, with confident backing, SPARK went off without a hitch. Now, mobile operators like Telia are integrating the SPARK app as a standard, and Springworks are preparing for the rest of Europe to follow suit.The next step for Springworks is how it can use all that data. Sommestad concludes, “We want to understand what we could do better. How can we make car ownership even easier. I’m confident that AWS has the tools to help us with this too and we’re looking forward exploring data analysis with services like Amazon Redshift and Amazon Kinesis to make our service even more useful for car owners.”

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