Why Cognizant is betting big on connected cars

With the global connected car market  estimated to be a multi-billion dollar opportunity, it is assumable that technology companies will be vying for a slice of the pie.  It will be interesting to see how  Indian tech players chart their way forward. Dataquest interacts with Prasad Satyavolu, Global Head of Innovation, Manufacturing and Logistics, Cognizant, who reveals the company’s strategy and plans to tap into the  highly promising, connected car market

 

What is Cognizant’s expectation from the connected car space? How is it looking to seize the opportunity?

Industry analysts expect investments in the connected car market to exceed $40 billion globally by 2025. Personal transportation is a matter of both need and aspiration. The evolution of the connected car is a natural extension of consumer choices. We believe that connected car, as a concept, will branch out into multiple areas of consumer convenience, such as seamless urban mobility, assisted driving, driverless cars, and car-sharing, targeted at addressing issues such as road congestion and driving stress and offering better freedom of mobility to senior and differently-abled citizens.

At Cognizant, we are focused on conceptualizing and building solutions to address current and future programs in this space. These solutions require deep understanding of manufacturing, telematics and in-vehicle systems, as well as consumer behavior. This is among the areas that are core to Cognizant’s manufacturing and logistics business. We have established relationships with several global auto majors, which expand our learning and are helpful in this endeavor.

What is Cognizant’s role in the M2M space?

M2M is a very broad term. A common interpretation of this is communication or exchange of information between devices/equipment without human intervention. M2M presents a significant opportunity for innovation across a range of industry sectors. Eliminating waste and inefficiencies and optimizing resources are some of the key applications of M2M.

For example, it is possible to avoid the breakdown of large-scale air conditioning equipment in a building by leveraging M2M to generate an automated service request alert for a likely compressor failure due to a motor burnout. This requires real-time monitoring and generation of exceptions alerts made possible by a combination of M2M communication and analytics.

Cognizant is engaged in multiple industry sectors (including automotive) to conceptualize, design and implement such ideas. We are also building partnerships and alliances in this space with hardware and telecom providers to complement our solutions.

How far is Cognizant in its efforts in the connected car technology market? Is this tied to the new technology bets the company is making or is it being carried out as a separate initiative? 

We are executing our strategy roadmap that has multiple dimensions of solutions and services, including consumer electronics and personal gadgets, customer applications and analytics, security and safety. In a number of live projects, Cognizant innovations are assisting global OEMs in the automotive space. Specific areas include consumer-centric applications of connected car, in-vehicle systems, analytics and compliance for automakers.

The connected car initiative is part of a broader vision within Cognizant. It is being run as a collaborative effort between different practices with our Manufacturing and Logistics practice providing business domain leadership.

What kind of investments is Cognizant making in this area? How are they likely to pay off?

We are offering end-to-end connected car solutions and services from the car OEM standpoint.

They can be categorized as “Inside the Car” (in-vehicle systems development, testing and implementation), “Outside the Car” (consumer-facing apps, integration with dealer/OEM systems, and so on), and “Around the Car” (urban mobility, cross-industry monetization, and so on).

We believe the features of a connected car are now a part of a car buyer’s basic expectation. As a result, differentiation amongst OEMs will come from their ability to provide complex feature sets (such as integration with lifestyle needs based on demographics). New vehicle programs at OEMs are typically trying to address these growing requirements where the likely payoff is expected.

Please share some details on Cognizant’s Car360 platform

We embraced design thinking in our core solution constructs very early on. Car360 is our umbrella solution that demonstrates this approach. The solution is focused on car buyers’ experience across the entire lifecycle of engagement with the vehicle, namely, research, buy, drive and resale phases. Our Car360 platform seamlessly manages multiple sources of information/data and delivers consumer apps based on demographic/vehicle segment maps. This library of pre-built apps cuts across multiple devices (in-vehicle touchscreen, smartphone, smartwatch and other wearables) and customer touch-points.

Car360’s reference architecture and framework are also beneficial for OEMs as they embark on data analytics and integrate different parts of the automotive ecosystem.

 

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