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Software on wheels

  • Mobility
  • Smart experience
  • Networking

Self-driving trucks or nimble e-bikes – ultramodern vehicles now have smart control software. Such technology makes truckers' time behind the wheel a lot easier and promises bikers more sheer riding pleasure. Regardless of the environments in which applications are used, the developers in Mobile Development at AKKA Digital – formerly GIGATRONIK – always ensure that their software is distinguished by a high level of functionality and optimum ease-of-use.

For example, new e-mountain bike "Turbo Levo" from Specialized follows a completely new approach in the industry: a general movement away from display and toward apps. No flashing screen on the handlebars disturbs the rider. Instead, all the functions of the innovative e-mtb can be adjusted by the Mission Control App developed by AKKA Digital. Unique so far: all interaction with a smart phone is wireless, via Bluetooth. The Smart Control feature controls the motor so accurately that battery power is guaranteed to last right to the end of the trip. And that’s the reason is why, as best e-mountain bike, the "Turbo Levo" won the Euro Bike Award 2015.

In less than twelve months of development, AKKA Digital created the easy-to-use app. A 14-member team of experts contributed interdisciplinary expertise gained from vehicle development and information technology work to the project. From concept to testing, agile process management was continually being played as our trump card. For more information on customized applications for mobile devices in a business-to-business environment, see the following interview.


  1. Holistic system creation
  2. User experience
  3. Smart solution

“Agile software development leads straight to implementation”

Interview with Živorad Krstić, Head of Software Development at AKKA Digital in Stuttgart


Živorad Krstić
Head of Software Development
AKKA Digital Stuttgart 

What does agile software development bring to your customers?

Its advantage is the high speed with which we are able to implement projects. Right from project launch, we practice agile requirement management. Using the Mission Control app we focused first on the operating concept, graphical elaboration and design; and then we defined a Product Backlog with more features. This created for us right in the initial phase, at the get-go, so to speak, a particular framework enabling us to develop and implement functions and to offer Specialized, our customer, preliminary feedback. Put simply: we use agile software development to go straight to implementation after a short lead time.

What special technology do you need to develop e-bike apps?

For more than five years now, we have been implementing innovative solutions for manufacturers of electric bikes and have positioned ourselves as experts in the field. In addition, technologies derived from automotive electronics – an area in which GIGATRONIK (now AKKA Digital) has been specialising ever since it was founded – can readily be transferred to products in other industries. Even with electric bikes, electronic components, such as the engine or the battery management system, must be actuated, read out and the correct data transmitted, in order for communication with a mobile application to take place. This is similar to our connectivity solution for vehicle communications, which includes an app that is used in Daimler's self-driving Future Truck. Hence, we were able to draw on expertise already proven in practice. As regards embedded software, such as the software we developed for the "Turbo Levo", a deep understanding of iOS and Android are also necessary; this being because both platforms and available programming interfaces are subject to constant change. Besides technical understanding, as a development partner we have also been able to contribute our expertise in configuring the Mission Control app with all its options as a free download in both Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store.

»What special technology do you need to develop e-bike apps?Even with electric bikes, electronic components, such as the engine or the battery management system, must be actuated, read out and the correct data transmitted, in order for communication with a mobile application to take place.«

Živorad Krstić

A look into the future: will the app be developed further?

As far as electric mountain bikes are concerned, the Mission Control app, with its variety of functions, through which the bike can be individually configured and controlled, sets the software engineering standard. For the first time ever, riders no longer need to worry about range. The app calculates and controls how much power the battery can and should supply to propel the bike in the selected mode, so as to reach the intended destination. A smart control algorithm automatically adjusts the performance of the electric motor, via parameters of travel time, distance and direct navigation. During development of the app, we worked together with Strava, the competitive online platform, to introduce the electric bike as a new class of bike. Because all the data from a given trip will be stored on a smart phone, electric bike riders can now analyse their rides in detail and share their routes with friends. The e-bike industry is very innovative. Together with our customers, we are already working on further developments and new features, so the Mission Control app should be able to offer drivers even more in the future.