Ms. Rakhi M. Makad is an Industrial Principal with Infosys and currently heads Innovation Initiatives for the Manufacturing vertical. Here, she and her team explores new technology trends and their relevance to Infosys clients and conceptualizes business use cases and solutions for the manufacturing industry. She works together with clients and partners on co-innovation opportunities and towards inculcating a culture of innovation across business functions. Some of the emerging technology areas currently in focus include – Connected Vehicle Technology, Internet of Things, Big Data & Advanced Analytics, Enterprise Mobility, Digital and Social Enterprises & User Experience. Prior to heading Manufacturing Innovation Initiatives, Rakhi was heading consulting for Information Transformation, which included Business Intelligence & Analytics, Enterprise Performance Management, Enterprise Datawarehousing, Information Management and Big Data where she leveraged her extensive BI experience in giving strategic and directional guidance across multiple clients.
In conversation with Telematics Wire, she shares with her views on automotive telematics in India
1. Can you share your experience as telematics ecosystem integrator?
The telematics ecosystem is complex and fast evolving. As against 5.4 Mn cars fitted with any kind of embedded telematics in 2012 globally, more than 36 Mn connected cars are expected to be shipped in 2018. This makes it one of the core focus areas for any integrator. However, there are many stakeholders involved – hardware, on-board software, connectivity, infrastructure, content providers, service providers, OEMs & component manufacturers and of course the end consumer – across the value chain. Technologies around telematics are also evolving and bringing in a shift in the way the whole ecosystem works, these are in the space of cloud, big data, analytics, security, HMI (Human Machine Interface) and ADAS or advanced driver assistance systems. It, in fact, now touches so many adjacent industry domains beyond the automotive sector, be it insurance, utilities, media & entertainment, telecom, healthcare, transport and so on. In our experience, clients are very much tuned into telematics as the future of connected vehicles and are ready to invest in the program provided the domain expertise along with innovative approaches and solutions are provided to them not only on the consumer side but also on the enterprise side of the connected story.
2. Infosys has done lot of research on the utilization of telematics from an Indian perspective. Can you share with our readers these projects or their outcome?
I can definitely say that telematics is getting very good traction in India given the faith instilled by the world’s best auto OEMs by setting up manufacturing hubs here. Due to client confidentiality, however, I will be unable to share information on specific projects and their outcomes where Infosys is involved. The ecosystem in India is growing with local manufacturers of telematics units as well as global players strengthening their services. While in most countries, telematics has perhaps found adoption first with the consumers and then moved on to enterprise use, in India it has been the other way around, for e.g. for fleet management. But, I would expect auto OEMs to introduce telematics capabilities to consumer/passenger vehicles very soon, maybe initially to start with as a differentiator and then as a must-have feature. Also, given the value-for-money mindset of the Indian consumer, I expect this technology to fast transcend from the D-class luxury segment to the hot selling C & B class car segments.
3. How relevant are platform like NGTP or GENIVI for India?
One of the challenges for the overall industry would be in moving towards a common telematics platform. This is similar to the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD for establishing the standard for high definition video and audio. Currently, there are different alliances that have started work on different platforms globally and I believe that these auto OEMs will continue to bring the same platforms to India. However, platforms like GENIVI and NGTP are very relevant for India – they allow us to leverage the learnings from so many implementations already and we can reduce development time and cost and also be able to go to market with potential uses cases quickly.
4. Which segment under automotive telematics like insurance, remote diagnostics, navigation, etc. will lead the industry?
Over the world, I think it has so far been consumer focused use cases and segments like infotainment, navigation, point of interest recommendations etc while the enterprise focused use cases, especially in the areas of insurance, vehicle health & diagnostics have been catching up lately. I would expect focus to move to segments like warranty optimization, recall optimization, spare part management as well – these will help enterprises become more cost efficient and create more value for money for consumers. I also expect new business models like car sharing to gain more prominence as telematics matures and usage could widely shift across discrete and process manufacturing and services industries. However, this will be more of a developed country phenomenon before it finds relevance in India.
5. Can you share with our readers some of the successful implementations of your telematics solutions?
Again, it will not be possible to share client specific details. At a broad level, these have been of a variety of types including – engineering services for on-board sensors and software, new hardware, firmware modifications, integration with cloud based data center and enterprise applications, analytics and insights, mobile and web applications, content delivery platform for vehicles etc. From a business perspective these have been in the space of remote vehicle services, usage based insurance, car sharing, fleet management, vehicle prognostics, recommendation engine based on LBS and several others. Infosys is uniquely positioned to cater to the end-to-end solution needs in the connected vehicle technology and is already partnering with large auto OEMs for the same.
One example that I can very proudly share is of our vehicle tracking system implemented for our buses that run across the cities for our employees, it is be based on our own LBS IP and currently under pilot, to be soon implemented across all buses. The vehicle tracking system tracks divergence from the existing route and triggers alerts to the administrators and users of that bus. The system provides an option for Infoscions to opt for an automated alert if the bus is one or two stops away from the place where they typically board the bus. Infoscions can also see the real-time status of the bus on their Android phones.
6. Will Infosys provide solutions for vehicle tracking to Govt/PSUs or industry in India?
Infosys has an India unit which is actively working with Indian clients and PSUs. Telematics, internet of things, machine-to-machine communication, big data & analytics etc are all key focus areas in the emerging technologies space for us and we look at providing business solutions leveraging the same across all geographies.
7. How do you see the common man benefiting from automotive telematics in India?
If I exclude the car owner from the scope of the discussion, I would still think that there are a lot of benefits for the common man – better traffic control and management could be the most direct and immediate benefit, lower pollution, improved emergency services, improved availability of goods in the market, improved safety etc. The benefits are immense and can only be limited by our own imagination.