Friday , 22 January 2021

Connected & Smart Vehicle Technology

The future Telematics the industry requires more collaboration and a step wise approach.

– Monali Shah

Monali Shah, Director- Intelligent Transportation, HERE Technologies says, “We believe that the government has a critical role to play in creating responsible regulations that enable the private sector to deliver innovations that benefit society and travellers. The public sector can help prioritize the needs and the private sector can bring the technologies to help solve the challenges. Working together of the public and private sectors can redefine the notion of transportation and mobility.”


The major backbone of all these technologies and features is the connectivity itself and that is where India faces many challenges. There are already many issues in the voice call as connectivity is not consistent in it. When it comes to data connectivity, telecom companies multiplex the same infrastructure for the data also. Such data networks are not very reliable. Thus, in case of emergency or an accident, when the data network is not available, it does not meet the purpose. As against this, eCall is mandatory in European countries, which means the telecom service providers give assurance that their service is of best quality. On the other hand, the network coverage is very sparse pan India, which is one of the major challenges.

The other important factor is the technology component. India is practically at par with the world in terms of access to the hardware & software systems, the cloud and the infrastructure but the price points at which these are made available in our market, is another major challenge.

The challenge for all countries, including India, is reaching ubiquitous vehicle connectivity. All these challenges could be overcome but it requires the telecommunications infrastructure, interoperability, uniform standard across municipalities/local government and data transmissions must not be too large & costly to transmit.

Cars in the past were differentiated with mechanical features, cars in the current generation are differentiated by efficiency and the cars in the future will be differentiated with the amount of intelligence embedded inside them. Connectivity is the backbone of the future intelligent car.

– Vishnu Sundaram

Vishnu Sundaram, Vice President – Telematics BU, Harman International is of the opinion that “India as a market has a track record for nonlinear growth”. He says, “We have seen this happen for smart phones and tablets. Right now, consumers have not had a taste of the interactive and live-content & services that can be brought forward with connectivity. Once they start seeing these in few make-models, these will be key decision-making criteria in selecting their vehicle. It will take Telematics into the non-linear growth track.”

However, before bringing these technologies, India should look at the other parts of the world (North America, Europe and China) to decide which best practices from each of those regions we should adopt and which ones to leapfrog. Any time a country is starting from a greenfield implementation, there are opportunities to take the newest technologies forward and become a leader. However, these come with some technical, financial and political risks, and need to be considered before doing something that does not closely align with many vehicles in the rest of the world. Connected vehicles, much like the Internet, must be as broadly standardized around the world as possible for everyone to gain the greatest safety and economic value possible.

So, are these technology and OEM collaborations likely to encourage the evolution of mobility into a service, moving away from traditional vehicle ownership? “Absolutely,” says Barry Einsig. “The collaboration will help dramatically. Look at how computers and the dawn of the Internet led to the digitization of our homes and our lives, or how the connecting and digitizing of our phones enabled the first wave of the Internet of Things (IoT). The same will happen for the transportation industry across all modes of transportation, with automobiles being the largest portion of that change.”

There are four factors driving this disruption and opening the transformations: connectivity, automation, electrification and sharing services. But to see the full benefit of mobility as a service, we must have one platform across all modes of transportation that connects, secures and digitally transforms the movement of people & goods whether by truck, bus, bike, train, car, ship or aircraft.

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