Vehicle engines yet to be electronically controlled

It was somewhere in April, I got a mail from Sanjay Mahajan from Sankar Technologies a vehicle telematics company having its offices in India and US. They were entering into an agreement with Zonar and looking forward to bring fuel management solutions in India. Last month I happened to meet him in Delhi, this was after he had tried and tested these products. I was quite eager to know the outcome, more from the point as initiatives like these add on to the vibrant telematics industry segment which we all look forward to. But to my surprise, he was unable to use any of the on-board diagnostics product. The on-board-diagnostics typically requires an electronically controlled engine, which are perhaps part of Euro 3 engines and later in Euro 4 and Euro 5.  According to Sanjay, “Trucks from TATA, AMW and to some extent Ashok Leyland vehicles having Cummins engine on board are still running on mechanical technology. The manufacturers have used filters to make them compliant with the Euro III and IV norms”. Further he mentioned that the challenging part is that the standards these International manufacturers using in India are different than they use in North America and Europe. In North America all heavy duty commercial vehicles come out with a ‘Nine pin Connector’ where as in India it comes with 16 or 13 pin combination. There is a need for us to have standards for On Board Diagnostics systems to work successfully.

Last fortnight, we came across an interesting development in the Indian telematics space, the acquisition of Interchain Solutions by Harman International. In candid views shared by Vishnu GS, Interchain Solution’s CTO, he says that the company did not start with the vision of telematics, but perhaps was flexible and sensitive to the market opportunities coupled with capability to deliver what user industry is looking for. We are all aware of acquisitions of companies which give MNCs a vehicle to ride into the local market. But what is noteworthy in this acquisition is that Interchain Solutions, had positioned itself as a hardware design company and its just six since its start-up.  Maybe over a period of time we would learn the motivating reason for this acquisition: market share/presence or some key IPR in hardware design.

Maneesh Prasad
Editor & CEO


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