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Chandrasekhar Konakalla, Pricol Limited on automotive telematics in India

Chadrasekhar KonakallaChandrasekhar Konakalla is General Manager- Product Development Engineering with Pricol Limited. He  is M.S. in Instrumentation and has over 20 years of working experience in embedded product development space. He has work experience/interactions with Continental, TRW to
name a few. In conversation with Telematics Wire, he shares his views on the automotive telematics scenario in India.

1. Can you share with Telematics Wire readers about your offerings for automotive telematics?
Pricol is one of the leading automotive parts suppliers, serving several OEMs across different market segments, both in India and abroad. In telematics space, Pricol offers various products such as Vehicle Tracking Systems, Road Speed Limiters, Fare Meters, etc, under the product grouping “Asset Management Systems”. These products are offered separately or as a basket along with company’s products like instrument clusters, round gauges, driver information display, sensors and actuators.

2. Can you share your success stories in vehicle tracking system in India?
We are successfully providing various Asset Management Solutions over last decade. Our rich experience in handling aftermarket challenges and various four wheeler & Off-road vehicle segments is enabling us to deploy highly qualified telematics solutions today. Pricol’s broad portfolio of products is our advantage in providing wide range of integrated solutions for various market scenarios.

In Pricol, we are focusing on what an OEM would expect in terms of vehicle data management for the initial deployment as well as how the same Telematics can be made flexible to the end user to subscribe to aftermarket services on the go.

3. Do you think there are any impediments in the growth of VTS industry in India?
Many… The major impediment is the lack of established standards / certifications in India. In the case of developed world, specifically the European and North American countries have established good forums for setting the standards / certifications / regulations, and for helping their respective governments to come up with comprehensive legal regulations for effective deployment of Telematics systems. This helps the end user to have apple to apple comparison of available services / opportunities in the market. In India, we are yet to get started on these aspects. This is one of the reasons why fleet owners in India are perplexed in choosing the right product.

Though we have reasonably well Telematics Systems infrastructure in India, I believe there is a strong need of effective deployment of these services in Intelligent Transport Systems to address prevailing issues of transport sector in India. This is a major opportunity as well as challenge for Transport system organizations, solution providers.

4. Do you see the market pull for various sensors fitted in vehicle like temperature, fuel, speed, pressure, etc integrated and accessible to users in an infotainment panel?
Globally many organizations are still working out the possibilities to diversify the Telematics applications/solutions. Today, design teams of OEMs are deliberating on how to tap & utilize the vehicle sub-systems data to have effective customer service. This is creating a scenario where Telematics integrated with other vehicle electronics/sensors to provide integrated vehicle data for further analysis and customer service. This is also providing an opportunity to provide much more ‘reliable driver information’ posted either in the instrument cluster or in an Infotainment system.

5. What are your views on Driver Behaviour Management and Insurance Telematics in India?
While U.S and some European countries have made lot of progress, we believe this has started taking shape in India. In these countries, driver history was managed based on various inputs from several agencies. That means, this requirement is there for very long time and now with Telematics the job is addressed easily. Whereas in India, this requirement is emerging well now and it is good sign for Indian Telematics industry.

6. What are the future plans of Pricol Limited for India?
We are focusing on delivering embedded solutions of various OEMs and Intelligent Transport Systems. Leveraging of Pricol’s vast automotive experience and wide range product portfolio is substantially enabling us to frame new integrated Telematics solutions to the industry. In short, we want to be one-stop embedded shop for various Telematics electronics needs. Being a Tier-1 automotive supplier, we wish to ensure that any product offering from Pricol would have the performance and quality that can be deployed globally.

7. What according to you is the future of automotive telematics in India?
Though Indian Telematics Industry has captured the pulse of the existing market demands over last decade, I am not sure if we are really tapping the enormous benefits of various integrated telematics solutions that can address the various business needs. For example, we are still in the primary phase of deploying good Intelligent Transport systems. There are still several challenges in content management, setting up standards for equipment reliability, protocols, standardization of vehicle data analysis/representation, etc. This is important, because many diversified solutions require rich experience in various subsystems of overall deployment and require alliances of organizations with appropriate skills set. In Europe, for instance, this has been realized long back, and that is helping Europe to deliver various integrated solutions as a bouquet.

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