Exclusive: Rivian to acquire ABRP (A Better Route Planner)

The deal could close in a week – or it might have been completed as this goes to print.

Sources tell Electrek that Rivian has been in talks to acquire the world’s most popular EV route planning service, Sweden-based A Better Route Planneror ABRP for short. Financial details weren’t disclosed, but ABRP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iternio, which lists a small employee count of under 10 people and 8 people on LinkedIn.

Iternio was founded in 2018 by CEO Bo Lincoln and has two pieces – a consumer-facing entity called ABRP and a backend that other entities plug into to provide routing data. Of course, ABRP plugs into Iternio’s APIs.

image 21 Exclusive: Rivian to acquire ABRP (A Better Route Planner)
Exclusive: Rivian to acquire ABRP (A Better Route Planner) 4

Getting into the weeds a bit more from their jobs site:

  • The ABRP app is developed in the React Native cross-platform framework for five platforms: iOS, Android, web, plus CarPlay and Android Auto. And yeah, Android Automotive, the open platform which is coming to most cars in the coming years – ABRP in Automotive flavor is already in the Polestar 2. Cross-platform has many challenges, but it is fantastic for a small company to be able to support three platforms from the same code – we are at 90% common Javascript/Typescript code. It does, however, require that you keep many things in mind simultaneously. UI design experience is a major plus here.
  • Our APIs need constant development, both for the ABRP app but also for our API customers. This is all developed in Python, and various database technologies (ElasticSearch, Redis, MySQL, Dynomite, …).
  • The EV planning engine is the core of our business. This is an advanced set of software running together with various caching mechanisms and load sharing for completely linear scaling with servers. You will want to know some optimal control theory to work on this. Programming-wise, the core is based on optimized Cython and everything else in Python.
  • We run our own backend cloud to cope with the requirements we have, spread over multiple data centers. This means we have to work on load sharing, redundancy, database replication, database optimization, intrusion detection, data security, and many more IT techniques. Ever wanted to work with servers with 720 GBytes of RAM and 48 CPU cores? We have many of those.
  • The route planning machinery is being transitioned to Kubernetes to be able to scale to meet the ever growing need for EV planning in a combination of our own backend and AWS.
  • Data. We have lots and lots of data. Planning data, charging data, driving data, vehicle data. Analyzing and refining this data into something valuable provides additional value for our users and customers. We run Elasticseach and Kibana to be able to analyze and learn from our data, and there is much more we can do.

We’re also told that Rivian has no plans to shut down either the front-end service for other EV owners who still want to use the service for their non-Rivian EVs nor the back end service for other carmakers and services. Polestar and some European brands currently use the backend service native in Android Automotive

In fact, with Rivian’s help and resources, the service is likely to get much better. Rivian will have direct access to vehicle data that will benefit folks with other manufacturer’s cars. It also has direct access to its own charging stations which can provide valuable data.

Similarly, Plugshare charging station aggregator was acquired by the EVgo charging network in 2021 but still operates in a charging network/manufacturer agnostic fashion.

Rivian currently works with Mapbox for its mapping engine, and that engine wouldn’t be supplanted but instead integrated with ABRP data.

We reached out to ABRP CEO Bo Lincoln for confirm/deny/comment who referred us to Rivian. Rivian sent us to their Europe-based head of corporate affairs, who couldn’t comment.

image 22 Exclusive: Rivian to acquire ABRP (A Better Route Planner)
Exclusive: Rivian to acquire ABRP (A Better Route Planner) 5

Electrek’s Take

The acquisition makes sense. Rivian could roll their own ABRP for their app and on-screen route guidance and probably was in the process of doing so. But as it builds out its adventure network of charging stations and plans to double vehicle fleet yearly, it probably made sense to go buy a much more mature product made by a small number of employees.

In the bigger picture, ABRP could help Rivian develop its own internal rich mapping system that it could also use as a marketing tool to woo other EV owners.

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