According to Gartner, a quarter of a billion connected cars will on the road by 2020. With India is clearly emerging as a market for autonomous cars, the years ahead will see an increasing appetite for apps and platforms that keep Indian consumers connected while on the go. Sasken is working on enabling the vision of the connected car. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Ashwin Ramachandra,VP and Head – Product Engineering Services, Sasken Technologies explains how the company is turning the connected car vision into reality, India’s preparedness with autonomous vehicle and some of the top auto trends to expect in the coming years.
CXOToday: What are some of the new offerings that have been introduced by Sasken in the recent years to address the needs of the automotive segment?
Ashwin Ramachandra: Sasken is working on enabling the vision of the connected car. Primarily this means enriching the In-Cockpit Infotainment. The in-cockpit experience is evolved significantly over the years. Sasken is pioneering the penetration of Android into the cockpit. Further, we will see a significant increase in the use of digital clusters. Sasken has several reference implementations of digital clusters that enable a wealth of information to be available at the driver’s fingertips, while not compromising safety. We are also investing in ADAS technologies. Safety in the car is enabled through independent and co-operative mechanisms. Sasken has leading implementations of independent safety measures like the use of cameras and radar for FCW (Front Collision Warning), DDD (Driver Drowsiness Detection) and other safety measures. Sasken’s rich radio experience has seen us contributing into co-operative mechanisms like C-V2X and DSRC.
CXOToday: What is Sasken doing in terms of simulation and software-based innovation in the auto segment?
Ashwin Ramachandra: The Auto landscape is undergoing a game-changing metamorphosis. Software is the SINGLE biggest differentiator in automobiles going forward. Be it EV drives, advanced Telematics, ADAS or a wholesome infotainment experience. Sasken provides the innovation edge to its Tier-1 and OEM customers by accelerating their time-to-market on several of these inflection points. The ability to create quick prototypes and the sustained excellence required to take those into production programs through software and simulation excellence is what Sasken brings to the table.
CXOToday: Are there any other specific technologies that you feel service providers would need to leverage in the next few years to stay ahead of the curve?
Ashwin Ramachandra: 5G is the most critical inflection point from a service provider’s perspective. 5G and its application in the Auto industry is going to enable safer environments for drivers. Further technologies like V2X will require service provider deployments and investments. Sasken is involved in several trials in advanced markets where 5G technologies are being evaluated and calibrated for deployment.
CXOToday: The autonomous vehicles space has been seeing a lot of developments of late. What are your thoughts in terms of India being prepared for its adoption?
Ashwin Ramachandra: India is clearly an emerging market for these technologies. The advanced markets already have several small components of Autonomy incorporated into cars that are on the road today. Some of these will find itself into India based models. Semi-Autonomous features like drowsiness detection and alerts are very relevant to this market. Sasken is in trials with a commercial vehicle OEM to implement this to enable safer fleets. However, complete Autonomy would not find its way here, given the current state of traffic in India.
CXOToday: What are some of the top auto trends to expect in 2019?
Ashwin Ramachandra: For the coming year, some of the key automotive trends to look out for would be Connected Car with LTE/5G connectivity, ITS and safety applications in the car, Evolution of Telematics architectures to include V2X and LTE/5G.
Further, evolution of Sensor based ADAS technologies. Fusion of various sensor inputs: Camera, Radar, Lidar, fusion of V2X with Sensor based ADAS technologies and continued proliferation of Android into Infotainment. There will also be emergence of richer configurable Digital Clusters, Hypervisors in the cockpit, greater evolution of cloud-based solutions for the automobile (sharing, monitoring etc), improved electric drives and battery management technologies.