Sasken to provide solutions on Automotive Grade Linux
The firm will provide product development and system integration services for automotive customers spanning in-vehicle infotainment, instrument clusters, heads-up display and telematics.
The Indian arm of Sasken Communications Technologies, which provides product engineering and digital transformation services, is actively working on a number of new initiatives in the automotive industries in the areas of autonomous and connected vehicles, infotainment and vehicle security.
The company says that by virtue of its deep domain knowledge and comprehensive suite of services has helped global leaders maintain market leadership in industries such as semiconductors, automotive, enterprise grade devices, smart devices and wearables, industrials, retail, public safety, satcom, and telecom. As passenger cars become ever more personal and technologies drive change, connectivity within the vehicle and outside is making its presence felt.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Ashwin Ramachandra, vice-president and head (Engineering R&D Practice), Sasken Communications, said, “Today’s car industry resembles the phone industry of 5-8 years ago. Last year, a significant development android for automobiles became available, enabling huge transformation for the future of cars. In the next 5-10 years, we believe Android in cars will become commonplace, replacing the proprietary mechanism and running the vehicle system.”
This transition provides immense opportunities for the company, which has made significant investments in the automotive infotainment and communication space. “Most of the cars today have in-house entertainment system but five years from now there are very high chances that they will have an android system,” said Ramachandra.
Auto, the core sector
Sasken, which has implemented an android fleet management solution in the US, foresees three key pillars of growth in the auto industry where it could play a larger role – autonomous vehicles, multimedia and telematics.
Talking about ADAS, Ramachandra said autonomous vehicles have four different levels, the first one being basic and the fourth full autonomous. He believes markets like India will see the second level of autonomous cars but fully autonomous cars will take a long time to come to India.
Sasken is also eyeing radar and lidar, which are seeing demand in developed markets which as they offer multiple inputs in addition to visual pointers to the car. The company has tied up with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in helping them with solutions that can be employed in these technologies. “Vehicles need to be tested for billions of hours before they are put on the road for intensive testing. In such testing of ADAS, we work on these algorithms. More importantly, we want to focus on sensor fusion which means putting everything together in a car and helping it make a decision,” added Ramachandra. At present, these solutions are largely aimed at the western market and the company is working with OEMs and suppliers at the R&D stage.
Bullish on telematics
For India, there are relevant telematics solutions which help monitor engine temperature, fuel levels and offer alerts on possible breakdowns, among other things.
Saksen is working to bring in advanced telematics to the domestic market. Some solutions, which are currently under development, factor in specific Indian market needs. While Sasken develops the software, the company also does a small part of hardware in Europe.
Sasken is bullish on the gradually maturing Indian market. In 2010, the company had nearly zero revenues from the auto sector. In 2016, it contributes 20-25% to overall revenues and the company sees it touching 30-32% in the next 3-5 years largely driven by the opportunities in telematics, infotainment and ADAS.
Sasken is also closely working with semi-conductor companies making chips which are typically used by Tier 1 suppliers. Going forward, security is going to be the single- biggest concern and will be the backbone for all future systems like ADAS, telematics or infotainment in protecting vehicles.
Last year, some vehicles in the US were remotely hacked into through connected telematics units to take control of the vehicles, something which has enormous safety consequences. As a result, OEMs are actively engaged with software developers to come up with foolproof solutions.
Partnering Automotive Grade Linux
In December 2016, the company has announced its membership with Automotive Grade Linux as its bronze member. This will enable Sasken to provide solutions to customers on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL).
Sasken will provide product development and system integration services for automotive customers spanning in-vehicle infotainment, instrument cluster, heads-up display and telematics. Ram Ramaseshan, senior VP and head, Automotive and Industrials Business Units, Sasken, said, “Sasken has a deep understanding of the software solutions and processes needed to help OEMs and Tier 1s keep pace with the evolution of consumer technology. Open industry standards can speed up production, enable rapid innovation and reduce software development costs for everyone, which is why we look forward to contributing to AGL.”
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