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Tuesday , 25 January 2022

Shaping the Future of Transportation

Today, “sustainable resources” is one of the key factors fostering global economic convergence. Governments, regulatory agencies, entrepreneurs, natural gas & oil companies, fleet operators and vehicle manufacturers have all attempted to address in their own ways the perennial problems of air pollution and fossil fuel consumption. However, there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we view transportation and search to combat the resulting carbon footprint.

Change to greener transport on a rather ground level bears more impact and results. Though the process of completely overhauling the existing fleet and automobiles and making them adopt green technologies is a herculean task, altering and developing policies to promote eco-friendly driving as an alternative may not be staggering. But it certainly needs an innovative approach – one that will have the ability to compel every driver to adopt better driving styles to result in lesser carbon footprint. And hence importantly, also succeed in the inclusion of individual citizens in the eco-system. Once the foundation of greener driving is laid, the number of possibilities it generates for creation of innovative policies and business models is tremendous. And they would all serve the same fundamental purpose but with different kinds of benefits to eco-friendly drivers. UK based Logica, a business and technology service company, develops innovative answers to suit the needs of its clients from different businesses. The company’s innovation function is headquartered in India (it is one of the very few companies to do so) with its Global Innovation Director operating out of India.

Logica has developed various innovative offerings in the field of mobility and intelligent transportation. These include Logica EMO (a real-time driver behaviour monitoring solution), Logica CRIMSON (a pay-as-you-drive and pay-how-you-drive insurance offering) and Logica LIFT (an intelligent freight and transportation management solution). Through these offerings, Logica enables various stakeholders in transportation and mobility fields such as fleet owners, vehicle manufacturers, insurance companies, oil companies and governments to provide commercially viable solutions to tackle some of today’s most pressing problems such as sustainability and carbon emissions amongst others. Logica’s innovative solutions can thus be the framework on top of which various value-added offerings can be provided for businesses and society at large.

“So then, not only are we creating new business avenues and developing new and innovative services that can be built via our innovations, we are also working towards a greener, fuller environment with minimal green house effects. Isn’t that what sustainability is all about? Business and economics can be optimised while ensuring that the larger environmental concerns are addressed as well,” says Rakesh Aerath, Head – Innovation, Logica India.

Some of the tangible and substantial cases the company foresees with its innovations for corporations, governments and other stakeholders are:

Remote vehicle infrastructure management – Most corporations spend substantial amount of money and time in maintaining fleets to service their personnel and other business needs. Especially so, if they have multiple offices, in which case there are local centres to manage these fleets. With the Logica EMO solution in place, it is highly possible for such companies to optimise their resources, congregate costs and double their operational efficiency and services.

The Logica EMO devices installed on the vehicles will make it possible for them to track vehicles for employee-safety, receive information on service requirements and get an SOS on breakdown assistance as well as driver performance. All this is connected to a central location that acts as a remote vehicle management centre, thus allowing the cutting down of operational and infrastructure costs and increase value-added services.

Pay-as-you-drive and Pay-how-you-drive insurance – Insurance companies can benefit from using Logica CRIMSON, a pay-as-you-drive and pay-how-you-drive solution, to build new and innovative business models. Traditional car insurance premiums incorporate a range of risk factors such as vehicle and driver history but don’t assess the miles a vehicle has covered. So essentially, they charge the same premium to a driver who drives less and so, has lower exposure to accident (low risk), as to a driver who drives more and therefore, has higher exposure to accident (high risk). By converting these fixed costs to per-mile coverage, premiums can be spread out across driver profiles based on mileage and driving pattern. Both pay-as-you-drive and pay-how-you-drive insurance structures are concepts which have been floating in the industry for some time now, but their adoption has been hampered by the absence of a safe and reliable technology to measure driver mileage and driving patterns. Logica CRIMSON can just be such a solution to enable auto insurance companies to remotely track driving patterns and charge premiums accordingly.

Taxes and tariffs – Meeting the green challenge posed by vehicles today is easier to deal with a step-by-step approach, rather than commencing a blanket ban on vehicles of a certain size or engine capacity to curb green house emissions. Governments can maintain stricter emissions norms while at the same time, make this rewarding instead of imposing fines. Because Logica EMO measures the eco-friendliness of a person’s driving skills, it provides an important technology enabler for governments to sensitise people with green driving habits. By tying its measured Green Index values to various tariffs and taxes on roads, EMO can provide a reliable way of offering incentives to drivers by making it cheaper to drive green than not to.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication – Another interesting use is vehicle-to-vehicle communication for better and safer driving. One vehicle with Logica’s advanced mobility solutions can be interfaced with others on the road to enable vehicles to communicate with each other. In such a scenario, drivers can be given feedback when vehicles drive too close to one another. Also, lost vehicles can be located and even empty parking slots can be found in an otherwise busy parking lot.

Multimodal transportation – Transporting goods using more than one means of transport under a single contract is the standard way today. In such a case, although a single carrier may have the overall responsibility of the goods for the entire journey, in reality they outsource specific sections of the transport to sub-carriers. One of the biggest problems faced in multimodal transport is that of fixing liability for lost or damaged goods. Here is where intelligent transportation solutions such as Logica LIFT can play an important part. Once installed on all the modes of transport used, and by linking the LIFT data to carrier systems, carriers will be able to track and affix responsibility for the goods during transportation. This not only allows them to build better operational functionality but also offer more accurate, reliable and value-added services to their clients in turn.

Emergency call services and breakdown assistance – When it comes to road accidents, getting emergency assistance to the distressed vehicles as soon as possible can mean the difference between life and death. In such cases, having a system like Logica EMO that can send out distress signals immediately on impact and then guide emergency services to the exact location of the vehicle can help save valuable time and lives.

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Logica’s Innovation Process

Logica nurtures innovation through a well-defined process. Its staged process includes various activities, tools and people. The process follows a systematic approach starting from ideation to the development of mature propositions that are ready to be taken to the market. The process at a high level involves garnering ideas from various sources including employees, partners, clients, market and academia. Quality propositions are then identified and then their technical feasibility and commercial viability are evaluated. Once done, the propositions are developed and completed which are then ready for the market. In short, it is a funnel process that allows quality propositions to be identified and developed to make them market-ready for clients. The funnelled process has given rise to a number of innovative propositions; those that started with a single idea by employees, to be developed and nurtured into full-fledged commercial propositions that Logica is working on today. Another unique feature of Logica is its Spark Innovation Centres which it uses to promote collaboration and showcase possibilities of the future.

The centres are set up across the company showcasing innovative solutions in various areas. They help facilitate collaborative innovation, provide a focused environment that stimulates intelligence and they showcase innovative solutions that have been developed in collaboration with clients as well as other possibilities of the future that have been created. Logica has two Spark Innovation centres in India – in Bangalore and at Chennai. While the Bangalore centre focuses on mobility related solutions, the Chennai centre focuses on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Chennai centre showcases solutions that address multiple modes of transport such as rail, road and air and their inter-modality.

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