We are fully equipped to address the challenges related to affordable automotive solutions – Harikrishna Khandavalli, Continental
Technology in the automotive industry is constantly evolving, and the leadership of one of these technology providers in the German Tier 1 major Continental. Over the years, the company has come up with many advancements and is now working on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential for the Indian automotive industry.
Continental is working on affordable solutions through its R&D. Its Technical Center India (TCI) has been a hub of innovation with over 4,000 engineers working on solutions ranging from connected mobility to advanced safety solutions, autonomous driving technologies and more. The German company says it is well equipped to meet the challenges and come up with affordable solutions as quickly as possible.
express mobility To understand more, spoke to Harikrishna Khandavalli, Head – Central Engineering, Holistic Engineering & Technologies, Continental India.
How has technology changed in the automotive industry in recent times?
The automotive industry has seen drastic changes when it comes to digital transformation, which will transform both in-vehicle technologies and how a vehicle interacts with its passenger, environment, infrastructure and other vehicles on the road. In today’s time vehicles are not just a means of transport. We call it ‘mobile living space’.
Connected and smart mobility technologies such as smart access, GPS and navigation, have already become standard features in a modern car. We will see further growth in these areas in the coming years. According to a recent Markets & Markets report, even after the pandemic, the connected vehicle market is projected to reach $166 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 25.2 percent from 2020 to 2025.
What new products and technologies is Continental working on for the two-wheeler segment?
When it comes to passenger cars, Continental is using artificial intelligence (AI) to build models that detect road objects and predict dangerous situations. These models can react to changing conditions and use input and output data to adjust actions. Additionally, neural networks are used for image processing and object detection. Continental has also installed a system for pedestrian protection such as a turn-assist system for cars with short-range radar to accurately detect the vehicle’s surroundings. Radar systems can help monitor blind spots when turning at intersections, and alert the driver of hidden pedestrians to avoid a collision.
Continental also partnered with heroine Web Services (AWS) to develop the Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge) platform. It provides functional updates to drivers through software updates from the cloud. We are providing future vehicle manufacturers and partners with a development environment for software-intensive vehicle architecture that they can use to implement software, sensor and big data solutions in a fraction of the development time previously required.
As a result, vehicle software can be developed and tested more efficiently and safely and directly rolled out to vehicles. The CAEZ platform is already being tested in development by a range of OEMs and is available for other customers from the end of 2021.
We also have a voice-activated digital companion, which understands multiple questions and enables seamless communication. The helper can detect logical connections and provide distraction-free operation. Also, coming to the visuals and aesthetics, we have enhanced the intelligent glass control connecting the car windows to the onboard computer. The main goal of this technique is to provide comfort through automatic or manual coloring of the glass.
How important is connected technology, and how will it develop in the future?
A connected car has the potential to change how we interact with our vehicles and how they communicate with the rest of the world. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, the automobile industry will be among the top four industries for 5G enabled service provider opportunities by 2030.
In addition, connected vehicles exchange safety-critical information with the infrastructure and surrounding vehicles, reducing the number of accidents and deaths. eHorizon is one such example, which helps the vehicle to see around corners and beyond the line of sight of the sensors. It also uses artificial intelligence and other technologies to process data obtained from the entire vehicle fleet, thereby increasing the reliability of the output. All this information is kept on cloud servers and made available to all stakeholders in real time.
In the future, users will be able to access preferred functionalities through software updates throughout the service life of the vehicle. The development environment for software-intensive vehicle architectures provides the basis for this, allowing software, sensor and big data solutions to be implemented in a fraction of the time previously required.
What kind of connected tech can we see for the two-wheeler segment?
We have also identified its importance in two wheelers and are working on prototypes. We are looking at implementing eHorizon for motorcycles as well, which will assess and warn riders about dangerous road conditions. It will be integrated through the MultiVU Sports Plus instrument development platform with a 4.3-7-inch TFT display. Continental will configure applications, integrate essential services, and manage services on a cloud platform, and the connected infotainment box (CIB) will help enable data exchange between the two wheeler and the server.
How important is AI with respect to automotive technology, and what is the road ahead?
Artificial intelligence has found an imminent position in the case of connected and smart automotive technology. A good example of this is eHorizon, which processes data collected from entire vehicle fleets with the help of AI and other technologies, again increasing the reliability of predictions.
It helps the vehicle to see around the corner and beyond the sight of the sensors which ultimately makes driving more efficient, comfortable and safe.
Connected Cars uses big data to continuously develop a software-defined car, enabling them to provide connectivity services and over-the-air (OTA) upgrades to the car throughout its lifecycle. This allows new features such as add-ons, but also allows necessary updates for firmware and cybersecurity to be rolled out.
How do you see the future of the automotive industry in India?
While the market for connected vehicles is growing in India, infrastructure and ecosystem need to go hand in hand. Auto component suppliers will play a key role in enabling this move. The auto components sector needs to be ready to adapt to new technologies by upgrading manufacturing systems and improving design capabilities. There is also a great need for clean energy solutions to be able to fund upcoming vehicle connectivity concepts.
Established companies also need to start encouraging new companies to partner with them through incubators. Old technology will need to be replaced with new technology.
Telecommunications and informatics service providers will also play a major role as they need to collaborate with solutions specific to automotive applications. Telecommunications service providers in the county will also need to up their game and offer uninterrupted data services and networks. A reliable source of 5G connectivity can dramatically affect the capabilities of connected vehicles. The same will play a vital role in enabling vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication at a speed and capability that was not possible with the previous network.
The high-speed connectivity solutions enable global market players like us to provide the domestic market with advanced driver assistance technologies that can be integrated with V2V communications. For example, the camera that detects new roads, new traffic signs, potholes, diversions, obstructions, etc. feeds the new map data to solutions such as e-Horizon, which can communicate with other control units in a fuel-enabled vehicle. Offers a preview of the road ahead- savings in the form of predictive cruise and transmission controls, and safety improvements like lane departure warnings and predictive ESC (Electronic Stability Control).
A move towards ‘holistic connectivity is required’, where systems embedded inside the vehicle such as high-performance computing, gateways, or sensors, and systems outside the vehicle such as edge computing and cloud are used to achieve advanced levels of autonomous driving capabilities. to communicate better.