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Automotive DevOps: Rules of the Road Ahead

The Indian automotive industry is on the edge of disruption due to increasing automation, new business models and digitization. This disruption is also through innovation and transformational change as industry players are adapting to shifting preferences on car ownership and new technological developments such as Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), IoT, cloud and proliferation electric and connected vehicles.

Apart from electric and connected vehicles, the auto industry is also adopting technologies like cloud and IoT to improve the driving experience. From design and operation to servicing, cloud technology will be increasingly used at every stage to reduce costs and eliminate any scope for wastage. Cloud computing enables better vehicle engineering and thanks to advanced analytic capabilities, design teams can deliver exactly what customers want. Cloud computing technologies have enabled automotive manufacturers to develop intelligent vehicles that can engage with their environment.

For example, many cars now alert drivers to hazardous road conditions, driver inattentiveness at the wheel and other potential dangers. Some can even help prevent vehicle collisions by warning drivers of an impending impact or even stopping the vehicle itself before encountering another object. Meanwhile, the cloud automatically creates a backup of this information for future use. This way, automotive entities don’t have to worry about losing their data in case of accidental loss or disasters.

Artificial Intelligence is another buzzword in the automotive industry in India and is going to transform its processes to a greater extent. IoT technology can be used to make roads safer through alerts that detect accidents and even bad driving. IoT can be used for swarm intelligence in traffic which allows traffic operators to coordinate cars to reduce congestion. They can see where common pain points are and identify the time of day when roads are busiest. This information can then help engineers and road experts devise plans that can alleviate traffic conditions. In addition, integrated cars with sensors will be able to recognize and communicate with upgraded road signs, markings, and a network of cameras. The vehicles will also be able to do tasks for drivers while software updates that were not there before are now possible.

DevOps will provide over-the-air (OTA), seamless software updates which would allow important and immediate updates without affecting the car’s capabilities through Liquid Software liquid software. OTA updates will enable automakers to fix engine and automotive malfunctions, as well as implement safety standards directly into the program. Tesla is one of the pioneers of over-the-air updates — but while its’ cars are off. In total, Tesla’s updates are usually about 30 minutes. Since 2012, hundreds of OTA updates have been sent out by the company to adjust things like speed limit settings, acceleration, battery issues, and even braking distance. Most car manufacturers are behind when it comes to over-the-air software updates.

General Motors is just starting to roll out OTA updates and expects most of its cars to be connected by 2023. As cars become more autonomous, and therefore more reliant on software, companies need to get updates out more quickly.That goes for both critical fixes involving the battery and security and for a not-so critical problem. Also, the use of liquid software ultimately reduces maintenance costs for the car owner, who would otherwise need to take the car to the dealership.

Apart from technological deployments by the automotive industry, we will see the transformation in terms of autonomous vehicles, which are self-driving vehicles utilizing different cameras, sensors, EPS motor, laser scanners, brake actuators, and enchantment, to drive by itself. Connectivity is still in the early stages of adoption in India. A minuscule share of vehicles sold in India come with factory-fitted connectivity features, but the mass adoption of smartphones, coupled with low data costs, could enable connectivity features to proliferate. Connected vehicle technology will not only make life more enjoyable, but it also helps support a safer vehicle experience – inside and outside the vehicle. Eventually, this technology will also help usher in the new era of smart cities, where vehicles will communicate with each other and with municipal infrastructure to enhance safety, optimize traffic flows, and improve efficiency on a city-wide scale.

Soon, most automobile manufacturers will have to embed software in their vehicles to manage the complex system of hardware such as sensors, processors, and storage devices. The role of technology is critical with making the driving experience both fun and safe at the same time. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have an important role in the future of the automotive industry as predictive capabilities are becoming more prevalent in cars, personalizing the driving experience. In short, the automotive industry is about to enter one of the most interesting technological transitions we will have seen for a long time.

(The author is General Manager at JFrog India and the views expressed in this article are her own)

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