DRIVING INTO THE FUTURE

Manufacturing Today|July 2020

DRIVING INTO THE FUTURE
R&D PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN DEFINING THE FUTURE OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY. HERE ARE THE APPROACHES OF THE INDUSTRY LEADERS.
SWATI DESHPANDE

FOR LAST FEW YEARS, THE AUTO INDUSTRY is undergoing tremendous changes. On one hand, emission norms are changing rapidly, while on other emerging technologies are making their ways. In the midst these disruptions, the auto industry is hit by a downturn. However, the auto companies have continued their focus on the R&D. Speaking about the company’s efforts, Rajendra Petkar, CTO at Tata Motors says, “At Tata Motors, we understand the importance of a technology roadmap and the company has a structured an approach towards developing & implementing technologies. The technology planning, development & deployment is a cross functional process and consists of baked-in intelligence, voice from partners, customers, suppliers and global trends. The new technology development process is constituted with an overarching framework of innovation funnel, technology selection, absorption and adaptation which is closely knit with the product matrix. Technology roadmaps for the PV, CV & EV products are derived for short, medium and long term deployment strategies, mapped to the product portfolio.”

“That said, all our R&D efforts are made with an eye on our mission & vision mantra of which sustainability is an integral element. Sustainability for all i.e. the Environment, Economy & Society. To exemplify one of these, say economic sustainability; it’s noteworthy that in India while new technology and features are highly appreciated, they have a strong relation with cost consciousness which has been a perpetual challenge for OEMs. TML has led from the front to tackle this by offering frugal & differentiated technologies & features for mass markets,” he continues.

An auto components company Continental also has a focused approach towards R&D. Elaborating on the company’s efforts in this direction, Alexander Klotz, Head of Technical Center India, Continental Automotive says, “Continental has three major R&D hubs across the world, Romania, Mexico and Bengaluru. Technical Center India (TCI) in Bengaluru supports both global and local requirements, for two business areas – Autonomous Mobility and Safety and Vehicle Networking and Information. Continental’s R&D hubs are credited to develop several modern technologies that are defining the future of mobility such as cockpit high-performance computer, Natural 3D display, robot taxi CubE, and Transparent Hood, among others. “

“The R&D centre in India focuses on developing various technologies, ranging from, for the market solution like one channel ABS solutions for 2-wheelers, to highly sophisticated technologies for domains such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and Artificial Intelligence.

All R&D activities carried out in India have a high level of strategic importance for the corporation and are not confined to just product development or customization of existing solutions for the local market.

Continental is continually innovating and developing technologies for the mobility of the future. At Continental, we have a range of solutions that are futureready and can be deployed in the market based on demand such as, OcSM, eHorizon and PreviewESC Systems, and Remote Diagnostics, etc. At Continental, we assess both short-term and long-term requirements of the industry, monitoring trends, and closely work with our customers to provide the best possible,” Klotz added.

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July 2020