The extensive use of the word ‘smart’ for various products and services started some years back. Making the customer feel like they’re making a smarter choice is a great marketing tactic, but there are industries that genuinely require smart technology, for example, autonomous vehicles. A car that can drive on its own has got to be smart. This and several other avenues of the automobile industry require smart solutions. And this is where companies like Aeris Communications step in. So, we got into a conversation with Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications to learn more about the brand’s expanse of business and vision beyond.
What’s Aeris up to?
Aeris is a supplier of telematics solutions that helps OEMs offer features like last parking location, geo-fencing, speed limiter and more with their EVs. Moreover, a lot of government-run services like garbage management, postal services, or municipalities are beginning to use EVs and most of these employ Aeris telematics. The company enjoys almost a monopoly in the electric two- and three-wheeler segment providing its telematics solutions with partners like Okinawa, Kinetic Green, etc.
The telematics solutions are available as an OEM fitment and also as aftermarket solutions for insurance and finance companies. The company also provides battery management solutions compatible with battery charging or swapping or leasing mechanism.
Also read: Autonomous vehicles hold potential to revolutionise farming, mining sectors & more: Tata Elxsi
Smart traffic management system in India
Aeris is currently working on a smart city initiative under which it is running a pilot project for a smart traffic management system. The system will have electric poles, street lights and more act as data collectors.
Users will be able to access information through a smartphone app to pick the fastest route and fastest mode of transport. Dr Rishi goes on to tell us that in case of an accident, information can be communicated through a sign over the road or a text message to people heading towards the location and help reroute the trip, hence saving time spent travelling.
Dr Rishi also happens to be a chairperson at organisations like CII and so was the right person to shed more light on whether India is ready for autonomous cars. He opines that autonomous vehicles can work at new smart cities or well-planned premises like resorts and that it would be very difficult for driverless cars to run in existing cities with the current infrastructure. He underlines that the tech available in Japan, the US or Europe can not be copied ditto for India as the infrastructure and challenges differ tremendously. India will, however, be able to use autonomous tech for farm equipment.
Internet-connected cars and the data they collect
A majority of people do not consider the breach of privacy when they share personal data online about where they are or where they’re going through their social media handles. Similarly, the attitude with sharing information with their car and what happens to that information does not attract much attention in India yet.
Dr Rishi highlights that there are several laws for the protection of the customer, however, the awareness on the subject remains low. There are laws in the pipeline for the protection of data shared by the consumer with connected cars or other IoT-connected devices. The Data Protection Law is expected to be passed by the next Parliament session. These laws will make it mandatory for OEMs or data companies to gain customer consent before using the data.