Tech Trends in the Indian Automotive Industry

Rosemary Joshy, Head – Engineering & Human Machine Interface Business Unit, Continental Automotive IndiaHolding a Masters in Embedded Systems from the Nanyang Technological University, Rosemary has worked with Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions, ZF TRW, and Harman Connected Devices, prior to joining Continental in 2019.

What Are Your Thoughts On How Technology Is Driving Change In The Automotive Industry?

Technology is leading the change in the automotive industry. One of the most significant changes that the industry is talking about is autonomous and connected mobility. With over 100 million lines of codes, an average vehicle today is equipped with features like navigation, smart devices connectivity, touch screen infotainment panels, parking assistance and much more. Technology has empowered vehicles to adapt to the driver’s preferences and driving patterns to provide a customized driving experience that anticipates the driver’s preferences and offers personalized suggestions. Human-machine interactions have become much more versatile, engaging, and powerful with these technologies in place.

To give you a specific example, to further the human-machine interaction, Continental is working on the Integrated Interior Cross-Domain Hub, a holistic human-machine interface that combines various displays such as dashboards, infotainment unit, and heads-up display. The displays are enabled with touch, gesture recognition, voice recognition and haptic feedbacks that allow the driver to stay focussed on the road and makes driving safe. And if the vehicle is fully automated, the driver can sit back and relax, as the whole cockpit could be transformed into an entertainment center.

What Is The Sustainability Of The Innovations Making The Lives Of Consumers Easier?

Based on the learnings of previous technologies, the industry is continuously building on how the lives of consumers can become easier, safer, and more comfortable. With technology systems available today, drivers no longer have to take their eyes off the road to read information from the instrument cluster; instead, they get the information directly in their field of view in the windshield. This kind of intuitive dialog between vehicle and driver not only makes driving more enjoyable, but also creates increased trust in driver assistance systems.

With the Integrated Interior Cross-Domain Hub, we provide a holistic human machine interaction to the consumer by providing a seamless integration of consumer’s ecosystem of smart devices and the vehicle that makes it convenient for consumers. If the driver switches to automated driving mode, the driver is also able to access, like the passenger, Internet-based services and apps offered in the wide screen of the vehicle cockpit. The interior design solutions consider user centric design approach that focuses on providing enhanced usability and positive user experience.

Another example would be Ac2ated Sound - Speakerless 3D immersive audio system. It achieves excellent acoustics by exciting surfaces inside the vehicle to produce sound. Together with Sennheiser, Continental has developed this premium system that reduces weight and space by up to 90 percent in comparison to conventional systems. We at Continental call this sustainability that’s music to your ears.

What Is The Scope Of Influence By The Union Government’s Initiatives Like Make In India?

Initiatives like Make in India support companies to localize and expand operations in the country. If we look at the automobile industry, India has become the fifth largest automobile manufacturer in the world, and I believe such initiatives encourage OEMs and automotive companies to begin and expand manufacturing in India. Moreover, tax cuts and other government reforms have helped the industry in investing back in the business and encouraging new manufacturing companies to start operations by the year 2023. This gives an excellent opportunity to Indian researchers and engineers to work side-by-side along with the world and develop innovative solutions for not just Indian, but the global market.

With technology systems available today, drivers no longer have to take their eyes off the road to read information from the instrument cluster

Where Are We Heading In Terms Of The Future Of The Industry, Market Behavior, And Technological Advancements?

The industry is going through a transformational phase. Though there have been a lot of concerns about the market, we believe the conditions will get better and more favorable for business in the coming time. With respect to technological advancements, we are moving towards connected, automated, and electric mobility. The automobiles are all set to turn into a talking, thinking supercomputer.

The immediate transformation that we see is the uptake of the fully digital clusters and phasing out of the conventional mechanical clusters. This will pave the way to seamless design and multi-display system that may extend from pillar-to-pillar of the vehicle, integrating cockpit functions such as infotainment and clusters.

To speak about specific technologies, the Cross-Domain Hub and the Natural 3D display will be drivers of future mobility. Cross-Domain Hub seamlessly integrates cockpit functions such as infotainment, clusters, and camera. This system is very software intense with centralized electronics architecture that combines multiple individual control units. The natural 3D display enables information to be safely presented to the driver in real-time, allowing the driver’s interaction with the vehicle to become more comfortable and intuitive. It also allows passengers in the front & back seats to share the 3D experience with the driver.