Exclusive: ICAT plans new ADAS test track, software and electronics labs 

New infrastructure at International Centre for Automotive Technology likely to come up by CY2026 to support upcoming technologies in automotive electronics and safety systems in vehicles.

By Mayank Dhingra calendar 29 Apr 2023 Views icon6077 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Exclusive: ICAT plans new ADAS test track, software and electronics labs 

The Manesar-based International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), the nodal automotive research, testing and development agency in North India, is planning to expand its infrastructure to cater to the growing demand for the CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) megatrend.

ICAT, which has a test track, vehicle crash lab, EMC, NVH, and tyre-testing labs among others, at its two facilities located in Haryana's Manesar industrial hub, is looking to enhance competencies by getting into the areas of developing software and electronics, which are increasingly becoming the core of automotive products as they transition towards electrification.

In an exclusive interaction with Autocar Professional, Saurabh Dalela, director, ICAT, revealed, "As a long-term roadmap, we want to create something . . . it will be a concept which has already started getting discussed within ICAT."

Dalela mentioned that given the opportunity in automotive electronics and the 'Make-in-India' push, now is the time to get into this domain. "It is the right time and if we do not get into electronics now, we will miss it forever. We will only struggle to play catch up in the future. 

"Therefore, we are planning to invest in software, electronics, and CASE, which would also require an ADAS test track, which probably does not exist in India at any location right now.

"Our ambition is to lead this market in a certain way, and while there is a plan internally, it needs approvals, which is always the case with any business unit, and so it is for us. We will be going through the process but the intention is very clear," he said.

Saurabh Dalela, director, ICAT: “We are planning to invest in software, electronics, and CASE, which would also require an ADAS test track.”

New software and electronics labs

With a growing number of ECUs in vehicles, ICAT aims to specifically offer ECU design, basic PCB creation, and ECU programming services to OEM customers, who currently rely on global players for these systems. With the software lab, it also aims to offer indigenously-designed cybersecurity tools and services to customers.

"We want to develop an electronics facility, which will have the competency to create our own ECUs and programming them with specific algorithms. This is the level of specialisation that we want to achieve. We want to tap into India's strength in IT, algorithm, programming and languages.

"We will come up with new labs, and recruit people who would be able to design these systems. We have set ourselves a three-year target for this project, which is at a very nascent stage right now. However, we should be able to see it come up by end-CY26," Dalela told Autocar Professional.

Specialised ADAS test track 

While it already has a vehicle test track at its second site in Manesar, Haryana, Dalela explained that the advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS functions are a step towards full autonomous driving, and require special infrastructure for algorithm assessment.

"The lane-keep and lane-change algorithms need to be evaluated on a specific test track which should be at least 20 metre wide to also simulate traffic coming from behind. Therefore, these test tracks are much wider than regular test tracks, and must also simulate a city to allow for technology validation," pointed out Dalela.

ICAT's director mentioned that while the idea is very nascent, ICAT is currently exploring a new site for the upcoming ADAS test track, which could be in the vicinity of its two existing facilities in Manesar. 

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