India’s Connected Car Revolution

The current automotive revolution is providing many countries and manufacturers transitioning to innovate more than we ever thought possible – India is no exception. From having its first car on the road in 1897 to manufacturing its first-ever vehicle in 1948, the country is now already the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer. Historically, cars made in India have not had the best reputation for design or build quality, but in recent times, Indian manufactured cars are increasingly well-designed and built as the industry goes from strength to strength.

As a matter of fact, Automotive is one of the core sectors of the Indian economy. With the country putting the connected car at the forefront of its agenda, technology driven consumer demand is helping to transcend the market to new heights. Indian consumers now demand more comfort, safety, and security in their cars. The surge in demand for advanced connected vehicle features from the country’s growing tech-savvy population will further drive growth – and opportunity for manufacturers.

Connected cars are best for business.
The current marketplace in India is promising and there’s a real sense of profitable opportunities for carmakers with its automotive development ahead of many other nations. Government initiatives and encouragement provides confidence for further investment. This is further supported by India’s technology space, which is also on a steep upward trajectory. As a result, the automotive and technology industries are working cohesively together to design and assemble cars that boast the best components and systems, many of which are now made in India.

At the same time, driven by smartphones, the general population is increasingly interested in connected services. Automakers must use this opportunity to realign their strategies and transition from vehicle seller to technology supplier. Doing so will empower them to unlock new revenue opportunities, with integrated in-cabin experience making Indian automakers more appealing to M&As and joint ventures.

How the connected car can enhance road safety.
Data will be key, enabling drivers to make more informed decisions and allowing everyone to get to their destination quicker, and with fewer accidents on the road. By integrating vehicles with road infrastructure, the car becomes so much more than a ‘smartphone on wheels. It will help the industry make society better, and India has already begun investing in this possibility. Maruti Suzuki, Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan, IIT-Hyderabad, and a few partners have begun testing Ambulance Alerting System. Its success in India will undoubtedly be seen as the protagonist of this innovation. It’s important that technology solves this issue, as with more than 326 million cars in India, an ambulance getting caught in a long traffic jam is a frequent and dangerous occurrence that can have disastrous consequences.

To help Indian car makers embrace the connected car revolution they need to find the right technology providers to partner with to bring the engaging services to delight consumers and foster brand loyalty. This will be achieved by in-cabin services such as infotainment and data insights and AI to automatically tailor these for individual vehicles and specific drivers.

There is still much work to be done in these early stages, but India has already started to pull the lever for a better-connected car future. However, automakers need to ensure that the connected vehicles provide additional value that the smartphone cannot give. Consumers must see the benefits of connectivity otherwise new services and business models will struggle to gain traction. The government continues to support a ‘Make in India’ campaign and this support will certainly help. Also, the rollout of its Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme in the Automobile and Auto Components sectors will help boost this. Automakers need to embrace the changing tide and look at how they can build on the tools they have to ensure India’s car industry continues to flourish against competition from around the world.

Published by Robert Guest

Robert is VP Product and Content at ACCESS Europe, with a focus on HTML5 platforms and media sharing solutions, including industry specific extensions such as HbbTV and W3C Vehicle APIs, so that ACCESS customers can deploy standards based state of the art products. He has been involved in projects with major customers in both automotive and TV and ensures a customer focused development strategy for ACCESS. His role involves working with telcos, middleware suppliers, STB OEMS, automotive tier 1s and automotive OEMS to ensure that ACCESS products deliver the features needed in these fast evolving markets.
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