In a modern, now socially distanced world where connectivity is everything, can vehicles be far behind? The Internet and seamless Cloud connectivity have enabled 24x7 connectivity through smartphones, computers and have extended their software-driven reach to cars and premium two-wheelers. That’s where the Pune-based CarIQ, one of the few Indian tech start-ups that pioneered technology solutions for connected mobility, comes into play.
CEO Sagar Apte believes that as consumers look to make their cars or computers on wheels into a personalised and customised version of themselves, connectivity presents a huge business opportunity for vehicle manufacturers. In August 2019, Aurangabad-based Varroc acquired 74 percent equity stake in CarIQ in line with its strategy to be future-ready for the connectivity mega-trend.
Part of the four-member panel at the session on ‘Roadmap for Safer Vehicles & Roads in India’ at Autocar Professional’s Safer Mobility Conclave, Sagar Apte said: "OEMs need to change their perspective – connected technology needs to be seen as a means for revenue generation and revenue optimisation. They need to look at it as an opportunity and then the additional benefits of safety will also follow."
Tech-ing it to the buyer
As connected-car features become the new norm for carmakers to inject a sense of excitement and attract customers to latest in-car digital technologies, there is a large percentage of young tech-savvy buyer who are willing to go the extra mile in loosening their wallets to get these tech-intensive features on-board. All of which translates into revenue gains for OEMs.
CarIQ’s proprietary solution is a seamless combination of hardware, software and IoT platform that enables safer driving, optimising uptime and personal and commercial mobility. Its data analytics platform helps gather engineering data from a car into useful format for vehicle users, OEMs, fleet owners and insurance companies. CarIQ platforms have far analysed driving patterns for over 90 million kilometres over more than 50,000 drivers. All this data can help towards developing a new generation of safer motorists.
According to Apte, while must-have safety features in vehicles are still taken lightly by a significant number of motorists in India, mandatory implementation of safety features for lower vehicle segments is around the corner. Importantly, due to tech advances and economies of scale, the cost of a number of safety devices has come down significantly in the past few years and is expected to decline further with greater adoption. Further, insurance companies are also urging the government to introduce stringent measures on the vehicle safety front.
Apte is of the opinion that if vehicle buyers in India, who are known to be extremely price-conscious, are made aware of the dangers of driving an unsafe vehicle through comprehensive dissemination of information, they will put their money on vehicles equipped with better safety features.