scorecardresearch
"Internet of Things": The off road drive to connectivity in India

"Internet of Things": The off road drive to connectivity in India

IoT is gaining traction quickly, but is still in its infancy in India. By putting to use strong software applications, network management and analytics systems, IoT has infinite potential for innovation by automotive manufacturers and others in the ecology.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now gaining traction, reshaping the way we engage with our world in our day-to-day lives. A recent report from Gartner states that the number of connected units, relating to the IoT, will reach 26 billion by 2020, a 30-fold increase since 2009. Will India accept the change?


The automotive ecosystem has been one of the early adopters of the IoT dream. In fact, automotive manufacturers, civil commissioners and vehicle fleet operators are already banking on IoT-driven analytics to gain useful insights from intelligent communications between cars.

IoT is gaining traction quickly, but is still in its infancy in India. By putting to use strong software applications, network management and analytics systems, IoT has infinite potential for innovation by automotive manufacturers and others in the ecology.

The consumer experience

The market will witness a host of IoT-powered solutions that will make it easier for car manufacturers and allied service providers to introduce feature-rich, safer and cost effective products and services.

In addition to self-driven cars, customers have also been noticing cars that allow them to safely access mobile applications inside their vehicle; to provide on-demand wireless map; to foresee the availability of parking lots; and to support remote analytical competences amongst others. While some of this may sound futuristic, IoT is already making its way into their lives. The top trends that will transform the automotive landscape include:

Usage Based Insurance (UBI)

UBI provides an opportunity for insurance companies to offer a new generation of tailored, targeted and value-added services. The telematics-enabled device installed either in a car or via an application on a new age smartphone, captures data and communicates it across the IoTgrid to the IoT platform.

The captured data is managed securely through the UBI Management platform and used for analysis and predictive modeling. The benefits of UBI include drivers being rewarded for positive driving behavior with lower premiums and insurers being able to offer policies that more closely match their customer's needs. However, UBI has not gained much traction in India and it will take some years to formulate here. After several pilot tests in India it was turned down due to the high cost. However, as companies begin adopting an integrated platform they would be able to provide UBI as one of the services.

Intelligent Emergency Calling (eCall)
Due to government safety regulations, automated emergency and breakdown calls are expected to be adopted in India on a mass scale. Cab services like Ola and Uber are already following the trail with emergency SOS features inbuilt in apps and they also have a manual switch present in the car. BMW is taking a step further and will be offering an 'Intelligent Emergency Call' system on its motorbikes from 2017. This feature lets the user call a BMW call center in the case of emergencies with the press of a dedicated SOS button. Moreover, in case of an accident, the emergency services will be triggered automatically. If this isn't IoT, then what is?

Stolen Vehicle Tracking (SVT)
The demand for security-based telematics services such as SVT is being driven chiefly by the insurance industry itself, particularly for premium vehicle segment. The sales of cars with embedded connectivity is additionally expected to rise further as India is introducing it on a large scale where SVTs should be fitted in all new vehicles to permit a car to be located remotely.

Mechanical Performance evaluation
There are automobile manufacturers who have a  structured, accessible and integrated data and analytics system to provide better insight into the mechanical performance of its vehicles under actual driving conditions. One such example is of Volvo Cars Group. Volvo is able to understand and realize the value of the connected car as 80-90 per cent of all Volvo Cars are connected with customer permission giving them access to data-driven information and driver's data-driven services. Access to this type of data for multi-genre analytics allows Volvo Cars to have a vision to aim for zero serious injuries and deaths in new Volvo cars by 2020.To accomplish this, Volvo Cars is using the IoT, advanced analytics and innovative engineering to make and deliver on this seemingly utopian promise, previously unheard of from a car maker.

Volvo Cars understand how to turn the (IoT) into the Analytics of Things (AoT) to create the next generation safety features for vehicles like Road Friction Indication. Imagine hitting a patch of ice. Your car takes that sensor data and sends it to cars and their drivers behind you to warn them that there is ice ahead. Volvo Cars takes this one step further and will send an alert to road crews to treat that stretch of pavement making it safer for everyone on the road.
                
What will drive these possibilities for manufacturers?
While anyone can make connections between machine to machine, how one applies technology to enable intelligent conversations between them is where the key differentiators will be realized. There are two major considerations to be cognizant of when deciding on the technology aspect of an IoT solution:

 

  • Intelligent sensor driven conversations between players in the connected car ecosystem will serve to create business value and ensure end user convenience.
  • The IoT-enabled new world will call for more collaboration among service providers, improved information sharing and more value creation for vehicle owners.

Innovative technology services and customer centric business models will be the name of the game in a future that is smart, safe and connected. And as the benefits of IoT become evident to consumers and manufacturers alike, the opportunities for growth within this market will offer an open road to many

 The author is Managing Director, Teradata India.