EXCLUSIVE: The spotlight falls on In-car Infotainment and Usage Based Insurance at Connected Vehicles 2015

Published: January 28, 2015 | New Delhi, India

Automotive OEMs, Tier-1s, System Integrators, Semiconductor, Insurers and Telecom converged at India’s maiden Connected Vehicle conference


Telematics Wire hosted the first edition of its B2B conference & exhibition, Connected Vehicles 2015 on 21st January in Hotel Hilton, Chennai.

The conference saw over 150 delegates that largely included the C-level executives, decision makers and subject matter experts discussing the future of in-vehicle connectivity and its impact on the Indian transportation infrastructure. The presence of all major industry stakeholders viz. automotive OEMs, telematics service providers (TSPs), Tier-1 automotive suppliers, system integrators, motor insurance carriers, device manufacturers, telecom perfectly complemented the theme of this event.

Keynote speaker Mr. Venkatesh Natarajan, CIO and VP-IT of Ashok Leyland gave an inspirational address focusing on the new paradigm shifts in the telematics industry. He talked about how the demands of their customers have gradually transitioned from vehicle tracking to more sophisticated ‘Value-added Services’ like driver behavior management and vehicle prognostics. He gave a comprehensive overview of the Ashok Leyland’s flagship ‘HAWA, PANI & TEL’ (Air, Water and Oil) program where the company is trying to implement telematics to reduce fuel pilferage and enable remote diagnostics. This was followed by presentations from Ford and Airtel. Mr. David Huang, who looks after Ford’s in-car technologies and their deployment in the APAC region, explained about the recently announced ‘Smart Mobility Plan’ in 25 cities across the globe. As part of the plan, Ford partnered with a Bangalore-based start-up Zoomcar to test the concept of car-sharing. In another presentation, Airtel Head of M2M and Enterprise Mobility, Mr. Himanshu Melwani demystified the role of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the connected vehicle niche. He shared that as a telco, it becomes crucial for Airtel to not only provide seamless connectivity to the vehicles but also make them ‘impenetrable’ and ‘secure’.

Following these keynotes, the stage gave way for two exclusive panel discussions on In-car Infotainment and Usage Based Insurance (UBI). The panel on Infotainment focused largely on the built-in vs. brought-in issue, the role of cloud and the in-car apps. Speakers from Mahindra Rise and Maruti Suzuki shared that within a few years most of the entry and mid-level cars will come with infotainment panels as standard fitments.

When it comes to UBI, there are essentially two possible avenues for car manufacturers trying to make use of their privileged access to driving data: providing insurance for people who have just bought a new car and having first notification of an accident. An OEM-driven model for UBI remained the most talked-about topic during and following the very lively debate on UBI. Speakers from Tata AIG, Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Lombard and SBI fully agreed on the fact that it’s time for an open relationship between a vehicle manufacturer and insurance carrier. It was also mentioned that, in future, there may be a demand from consumer arising in terms of other value-added features beyond premium discount like stolen vehicle recovery, roadside assistance, teen driver monitoring and more. The discussion was quite inspiring and gave the captivated audience plenty to think about.

Throughout the day, the exhibition floor allowed plenty of opportunities to the delegates to interact with the service providers about their latest projects and range of telematics solutions. The delegates belonged to the top-notch tech firms- IBM, Wipro, Tata Teleservices, Microchip, Visteon, Freescale, NXP, Continental, Robert Bosch, Harman and Fujitsu to name a few. A UK-based service provider NextGen Technologies became the sponsor of this event. 

The conference got an overwhelming response from the industry with more than 95% saying that they would recommend this conference to their colleagues.

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