Indian Automotive Digital Revolution

Prashanth Doreswamy, Country Head India, Continental Corporation and Managing Director, Continental Automotive IndiaOver 27 years work experience in automotive industry (Global Tier I), Prashanth Doreswamy's wide areas of responsibilities includes operations, program management, product planning, business development, commercials, strategy and general management.

The automobile industry in India is on the move and is projected to grow into the world's third-largest automotive market soon. On the back of increased demand for digitally enhanced experience, automakers are pulling all-stops to facilitate such a transition. Reports have suggested growing digitalization and advancements in technology will have increased the global automotive industry investments to $82 billion by the year 2020.

Trending Technologies
With the advent of the digital revolution, various systems are fast becoming a norm in the industry; take for instance, Telematics - which encompasses telecommunication and vehicular technologies in controlling the vehicles and in sending, receiving and storing information using telecommunication devices to control remote objects. Vehicles come equipped with automotive tracking systems, which include wireless vehicle safety communication which prevents one from any kind of theft/accidents.

Also possible now is something called `Predictive Maintenance', where self-diagnostic sensor systems instantly send out notifications of any immediate faults to the driver. Such systems allow owners to proactively service their vehicles and reduce mechanical failures.

'Connected Vehicles' are still in its early stages of adoption in India though, but with the evolving and changing scenario of using Bluetooth, navigation and in-car Wi-Fi connectivity has rapidly grown over the last decade. An advanced telematics feature utilizes the car sensor data, driving behaviour, and vehicle health parameters to track down every piece of information related to the vehicle. This helps in monitoring and influencing driver behaviour and enables timely repair and maintenance of the vehicle.

Automation for Safety
The future of driving is steadily moving towards reaching full-autonomy. Semi-autonomous systems, a precursor to Autonomous Vehicles (AV) have already started to become the mainstay in most high-end vehicles now. AVs, with the use of technology will advance the market for the automotive industry
by including GPS, sensors, cameras for connectivity and algorithms. AVs will ultimately reduce the risk for any kind of fatalities, it even has the potential to reduce traffic congestion and improve fuel efficiency.

It is anticipated assistive-driving systems would help reduce accidents and lower insurance cost reducing accidents and lowering insurance to tune of 9, 00,000 less causalities and 1 trillion dollars in damages globally, in the next 10 years.

Talk of moving mobility towards sustainable & carbon-neutral solutions has received a massive push in terms advancements in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology. Digital innovations in terms of advanced battery management and energy efficient on-board systems are making EVs more relevant as an alternative to ICE vehicles. India has aimed to be free from fuel vehicle by 2030, which will not only reduce the usage of owned cars but along with it increase the usage of public transport. Government has even joined hands with the Automobile industry towards making India shift to using of EVs so that it reduces emissions and lessens the oil imports.

'Smart City Pilot' enhances road safety enables optimized traffic flow in real time and provides car park monitoring with networking infrastructure

Evolving Industry
Advanced digital technologies are also enabling how a buyer experiences products now. With all the relevant information about a particular model available across different media formats and options like Virtual Showroom -Virtual Reality solutions which enable customers to get a comprehensive view of a vehicle without actually stepping into, digital solutions are enhancing & simplifying buyer experience.

Technology has also helped advance `Mobility-As-A-Service' (MaaS), where more vehicles are becoming shared forms of mobility. Cab aggregators, rent-a-vehicle services, vehicle sharing platforms are fast turning out be ideal solutions to cover the lack of sufficient public transportation services.

Continental's Pioneering Technologies
Continental, being one of the leading global technology company as being pioneering the transformation of mobility. It is upgrading production facilities to match Industry 4.0 to ensure smarter and more efficient production processes and practices. Continental expects India to follow global technology trends that meets the demand of the current automotive industry and the end users.

Furthering the cause of AVs& e-mobility, Continental has developed solutions like `CUBE', its driverless robo-taxis, which is poised to become an important part of mobility in urban centres, helping to reduce traffic congestion and increase efficiency.

Products of future enabling AV technology will include Continental's `Right-Turn Assist' which is new short range radar allows vehicle for more precise detection of their surroundings by operating within high-resolution 77 Gigahertz range. `Smart Voice Assistant' enables natural dialogues and understands multiple questions in one sentence and detects logical connections through distraction free operation via smart voice control which enhances the road safety. Its `Intelligent Glass Control' connects car window with the on board computer and converts into a digital interface for a range of functions with unprecedented glass quality and automatic dimming to suit a variety of requirements.

Along with manufacturing new products Continental has developed `Road and Driver Camera', a new system solution for safe transfer of driving responsibility in automated vehicle for both the driver and passengers. Enabling vehicle to infrastructure communications, its `Smart City Pilot' enhances road safety enables optimized traffic flow in real time and provides car park monitoring with networking infrastructure through Intelligent Intersections and Street Lamps with tried-and-tested sensor technology.