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Software To Drive Tech Revolution

With technology, new-age cars blend horsepower and computing, harnessing AI, IoT and data science capabilities. Hence, the future of mobility promises seamless, personalised, and automated travel on demand

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Today, the software is already at the heart of the technology revolution improving our lives. It effectively shapes the future of mobility by connecting vehicles and enabling automated driving. This has led to the development of the Indian automotive industry, with software at the forefront of its operations.  

Unlike traditional vehicles with Engine ECU having software, 21st-century vehicles are driven by electronic modules and related software in sub-systems of cars such as BCM (Body Control Module), TCM (Transmission Control Modules), Clusters, and Chassis Steering system, and HVAC or Air-conditioned modules. Additionally, advanced cars are now equipped with software-based solutions like the Internet, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), Cloud-connected and large head units, and others.  

MG Motor India, along with other Auto OEMs, has accelerated their transformation into software-driven mobility providers. Since its inception in India, MG has used technology integration as a differentiator, delivering a seamless experience to customers. It is driven by the vision of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric) mobility, bringing cutting-edge across the board experiences. Also, profoundly integrated software into the range enhances the digital customer experience and ensures a safer & smarter driving experience. There is presently a sharp transition of vehicles from hardware-driven machines to software-driven electronic devices due to the demand for safer, internet-connected, affordable, personalized, and convenient mobility services. With technology, new-age cars blend horsepower and computing, harnessing AI, IoT and data science capabilities. Hence, the future of mobility promises seamless, personalised, and automated travel on demand.  

How is software shaping the mobility sector for the better? 

Software integration is becoming the core competency of car manufacturers now. MG Motor India is one of the key leading carmakers to spearhead this development and build a customer-centric digital ecosystem by offering various in-car services and subscriptions in utility, entertainment, security, insurance, consumer payment, and a lot more. It has features that strengthen the future of mobility, including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Telematics, safety features, etc.  

Graduating to the next level from internet cars – ADAS technology, which is the first step towards autonomous cars, is a paradigm shift in this direction. With MG Gloster, we have acquainted the customer with the next-generation automotive technology. We have always maintained a technological edge in the market. Car-as-a-Platform is another step towards revolutionizing the driving experience for our customers. For instance, with AI inside Astor, we enable services such as vehicle digital passports to ensure data & security. The other services include maps and navigation with MapmyIndia and the industry-first feature of reserving a parking slot through a head unit (powered by Park+). The infotainment system set on the i-Smart Hub also provides a first-of-its-kind Blockchain-protected vehicle digital passport by KoineArth, unlimited music with Jio Saavn, and detailed information through Wikipedia. The latest MG Astor, India’s first car with a personal AI assistant and autonomous level 2, is powered by mid-range radars and a multi-purpose camera.

MG has partnered with BOSCH for installing ADAS software in MG Astor. This application software installation offers blind-spot detection, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, collision warning, intelligent headlamp control (IHC), rear-drive assist (RDA). It also offers automotive emergency braking, pedestrian detection, driver drowsiness detection, lane departure warning/correction, speed assistant system, and more. Software for automated cars features ultrasonic sensors and comprises various sensors placed in the side-view mirrors and front & rear bumpers. Lidar sensors are the ideal solution for real-time detection, and radar sensors, especially long-range ones, are reliable enough and affordable than the rest. MG Motor India and other OEMs partner with software developers to build their automotive breakthroughs by installing ADAS software driving solutions to significantly improve driving safety and comfort along with data capturing partners like IDIADA on Indian roads in various terrains and traffic. Working closely with hardware and software development company BOSCH, MG engineers have tuned the software for Indian road conditions, typically for highway and city traffic. This makes MG cars much safer to drive on the road, thus ensuring an optimized solution for Indian traffic conditions.  

Telematics, on the other hand, retrieves every data like GPS position, engine light information & vehicle faults, speed, idling time, fuel consumption, seat belt usage, harsh braking & driving, etc., generated by the car. The data gets decoded and shows up in software applications like fleet management. By embracing software, people can view and export reports and attain business intelligence like none. They can get a wide range of information (from cars) that need maintenance to the top 10 drivers with the highest number of speeding incidents. The software helps the fleet managers answer multiple queries like ‘How to reduce fuel consumption?’, ‘Are electric vehicles cost-effective?’, ‘Are my drivers speeding?’ or creating geo-fencing where the SMS comes to the owner if the vehicle is driven outside the defined boundary. Therefore, the future of telematics is most likely to accomplish the unimaginable as it enables constant communication with nearby vehicles.  

MG Motor India has partnered with Jio for embedded sim and technology to offer high-speed in-car connectivity to MG users in its recently launched SUV, Astor. The drivers can access real-time connectivity, infotainment, and telematics through the telecommunications giant’s eSIM and IoT solutions. Alongside this, GPS tracking systems and other operational systems shall further continue to become better integrated and improved.

How has software transformed car insurance? 
In the automotive industry, drivers get a personalised insurance policy basis their driving skills. It is offered by cutting-edge software like Telematics. The risk gets shifted to the software behind automated/self-driven cars and Artificial Intelligence under the auto insurance sector. Users get unprecedented visibility into risk around facilities with greater accuracy with the help of real-time data, satellites, and drones. If drivers achieve the required scores based on their driving behaviour, they can quickly grab a personalised discounted motor insurance quote from leading insurance companies.  

Telematics software leverages big data and data analytics to deliver actionable intelligence to insurers and customers. Laying down the brand's vision for the Car-as-a-Platform (CAAP), MG has partnered with homegrown blockchain firm KoineArth, to record this data into something called a ‘digital passport.’ For the customer, the digital passport is simply an interface on the app, which shows the data the car has recorded. The platform will include insurance firms and even resellers, to use this data for future decisions. For instance, insurance premiums for a good driver can be lower than that of someone whose passport data shows that they drive more recklessly. Similarly, when the customer sells their car in the future, service records, etc., can be stored on the passport to help determine the resale value.

How does MG Motor strengthen the future of mobility through its disruptive technologies? 
With CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric) mobility, MG Motor has already disrupted the market by introducing many firsts. One such disruption is the industry-first concept of CAAP (Car-as-a-Platform) to cater to the fast-changing requirements of new-age users. The automaker has incorporated a subscription-based model in MG Astor. MG Motor is looking into various technologies like using advanced AI in future models and cleaner technologies to reduce the global carbon footprint. The company is also looking into bringing futuristic electric vehicles to the market soon by tying up with high voltage battery partners and increasing the localizing percentage as per the PLI (Production Linked Incentives) from the Indian government. Moreover, the company is creating the eco-system for charging infrastructure, which is currently the most talked-about point for Indian consumers while buying EVs. Hence, MG Motor is fully determined to make EVs popular all over India as part of the green revolution.  

Summing Up
Software is going to play a phenomenal role in shaping the future of the automotive and auto insurance industry. MG intends to optimise the software to improve customer safety & convenience, assist in delivering fair & cost-effective policies, and expand the future of the automotive experience. This will usher in new technologies (like Car-as-a-Platform) to give a personalized touch to the customers’ modern needs and offer OEMs monetization opportunities.  

Rajeev Chaba, President and MD, MG Motor India  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Magazine 8 Feb 2022 Trends 2022 technology

Rajeev Chaba

The author is President and MD, MG Motor India

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