Vehicle Telematics

Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, VECV

Telematics Wire in discussion with Vinod Aggarwal, CEO & MD, VECV on wide-ranging topics including trends in vehicle telematics, new telematics features, diagnostics and maintenance, PLI and more.

  1. What trends in the vehicle telematics segment do you visualize in 3 to 5 years?

Connectivity or connected vehicles will reshape the mobility landscape and have a profound impact in the way cities are built and how goods and people move. The ongoing developments in telematics technologies will continue to improve the management and efficiency of businesses with a vehicle fleet. Fleet operators in India have started to capitalise on the innovations related to seamless communication with drivers, and field technicians to provide efficient services. Vehicle telematics technology allow vehicles to be monitored remotely thereby help prevent thefts, optimisation of productivity, maximise vehicle uptime, promote driver safety, and boost productivity. In the next 3 to 5 years there will be constant improvements in satellite systems, software and hardware developments and the adaptation of 5G which will further enhance fleet communication, safely and economically. Telematics will make a valuable contribution to fleet owners and the overall commercial vehicle industry in India. The Internet of Vehicles (IoV) will be the next step in the evolution of connected vehicles wherein possibilities like better routing and navigation, traffic management and control of air pollution caused by vehicles will become a reality.

  1. Do you plan to introduce telematics-based new features in VECV vehicles?

We were one of the pioneers in modernising the CV industry in India with the industry-first proposition of 100% connected vehicles across our entire product portfolio. The portfolio was powered by our advanced telematics solution – Eicher LIVE. Eicher trucks and buses are equipped with pre-fitted hardware, which enables them to be completely connected on the road along with our industry-first ecosystem. This technology is designed specifically to reduce the overall cost of ownership for consumers and aims at improving efficiency in terms of operations. The fleet owners will be able to track trace and know the pattern of driving. All the Eicher vehicles are connected to Eicher’s uptime centre that provides round-the-clock 24×7 remote diagnostics. This 100% connected ecosystem offers service support with a team of diagnostic experts offering Remote Diagnostics, Predictive Diagnostics, and specialised field support to all BS-VI Eicher vehicles. With IoT analytics platform, Eicher has significantly advanced the Predictive Uptime Services. It detects the potential issues on the truck and acts on the truck in coordination with the driver. 

  1. Do you think telematics solutions can bring down the cost of maintenance and lesser vehicle breakdown?

Eicher has always remained at the forefront of adopting new technologies and undertaking innovations and with the introduction of BSVI connected vehicles, we have taken the telematics technology to the next level. Unlike the older telematics systems, Eicher’s advanced telematics system is fully integrated into the vehicle electronics and is engineered as a part of it. Telematics systems available across all Eicher BSVI trucks with several sensors and large amounts of data will enable deeper insight into driving and vehicle conditions creating a unique value proposition for the customers. With the help of advanced Eicher LIVE telematics, the fleet operators can track, trace, and know the pattern of driving this will help them in improving the efficiency of their business. Operating vehicles at maximum mileage with fewer breakdowns, reduced downtime and maintenance costs significantly helps fleet operators to do multiple trips eventually adding to the overall profitability of a fleet owner. 

  1. In your opinion what will be the impact of the PLI scheme on the auto industry. How does VECV plan to leverage this opportunity?

The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the Automobile and Auto Component Industry in India has been successful in attracting significant investments and is expected to create additional employment opportunities. Incentives up to 18%, will encourage the industry to make fresh investments in the indigenous supply chain of Advanced Automotive Technology (AAT) products. The PLI scheme may also help revive the automotive sector after COVID. VECV aims to be a key stakeholder in the future mobility goals of India and therefore, are keen to take advantage of the productivity linked incentive (PLI) for the auto sector through our expansion plans for an aggressive foray into electric vehicles and fuel cells related technologies.

  1. Is VECV leveraging the IoT and industry 4.0 solutions for its vehicle production?

VECV inaugurated a new state of art plant in Bhopal, this plant is setup on industry 4.0 norms. It is equipped with completely automated manufacturing process with MES control along with connected machines and supply systems. In line with VECV’s vision of modernizing the CV industry, this plant is a fully digital facility complete with advanced technology such as automated manufacturing process & integrated command center. This allows us to achieve robust production processes and high utilisation rates. The plant will be able to deliver world-class engines for its wide range of EUTECH6 enabled BS-VI trucks and buses and will export vehicles to over 40 countries across the globe. 

  1. Does your commercial vehicle user benefit from predictive maintenance? Can you share any case or example?

Yes. VECV BS-VI connected vehicles are connected to Eicher’s uptime centre which provides round-the-clock remote telematics-based real-time support along with 24×7 remote diagnostics. This means that the centre can offer predictive maintenance data and other diagnostic-related advice on the go. With our Predictive Uptime Services, all customers, all applications, and all segments irrespective of fleet size stand to improve their uptime with fewer unexpected faults on the road. With our IoT analytics platform, we have significantly advanced our Predictive Uptime Services. We can detect potential issues on the truck and facilitate repair on the vehicle in coordination with the driver. On an average 4000 vehicles are supported real time every month, +98% concerns are resolved with 4 Hrs. ~ 4500 unplanned stops are averted every month by proactively updating the customers on issues and driver related actions.

  1. How are fleet owners benefitting from telematics devices in terms of improved operational efficiency and lower total cost of operations?

Through our industry leading My Eicher App, telematics enables fleet owners, drivers and managers to effectively monitor all their vehicles collectively and individually in real-time. The data captured using telematics devices can include location, speed, engine-idling, harsh braking or acceleration, fuel consumption, temperature, and vehicle faults among other things. Fleet management software can read this data to send alerts to fleet owners on performance issues, emergencies, and critical events like route deviation or over speeding so that swift action can be taken. Based on telematics data, fleet managers can also gain insights into driving habits and patterns which can, in turn, help them create training programmes to improve driver safety. This technology helps immensely to save costs by rectifying trip hurdles and boosting operating profit for fleet owners.

  1. A few years ago the government of India mandated AIS 140 vehicle tracking devices in all commercial and public transport vehicles, Has it led to an increase in VECV commercial vehicles factory-fitted with AIS-140 vehicle tracking devices, or still it is aftermarket driven?

As per the government mandate all Eicher Busses (public transport vehicles) come factory fitted with AIS 140 Devices since July ‘2020. For Eicher Trucks, there is a VECV approved Aftermarket solution that is available for customers.

Published in Telematics Wire

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