Connected Cars and the ‘Internet of Things’ Drive Automaker Investments

Dec 27, 2016

The automotive industry is being shaken up by technology advancements impacting the future of the business, according to Syntel, an IT and digital modernization company.

study by PwC, a strategy consulting firm, revealed that electronics systems today contribute to more than 90 percent of innovations and new features in modern vehicles. Manufacturers are increasingly partnering with non-traditional players, such as software companies, in order to integrate innovative digital technologies into their products.

Research by McKinsey & Co. asserts that the vehicle of the future will be connected. Manufacturers will not only be able to monitor data in real-time for safety and reliability purposes, but vehicles themselves will communicate with other vehicles and an increasingly smart roadway infrastructure.

The convergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), sophisticated new sensor and telematics systems, Cloud computing networks and Big Data analytics give automakers access to new streams of real-time data from vehicles, which can provide valuable insight into both their products and their consumers.

The continuing shift to more digital cars is being driven by “digital native” customers who expect vehicles to act like smart devices, as well as mandates from the US Department of Transportation, which recently proposed new requirements for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication by the year 2020.

According to Rakesh Khanna, Interim CEO and president of Syntel, manufacturers are still scratching the surface of the potential for this technology, and the ability to efficiently handle, store and interpret massive amounts of vehicle data is the key to success.

“Throughout the various stages of a vehicle’s life span, from production through to the consumer, there is valuable data,” Khanna said. “Traditionally, most enterprises have stored their data in inflexible, isolated or ‘siloed’ systems which are a big hassle to maintain and make it hard to collaborate and analyze this valuable information to improve product and business performance.

“Just pouring loads of new data into old storage systems is a recipe for disaster, as old database technology is unable to perform the type of analytics needed to provide the really valuable insight that creates advantage.”

Khanna’s firm, digital modernization provider Syntel, offers a suite of services that enable manufacturers to convert and migrate their legacy data to modern platforms, where it can be unified and integrated with new data for analysis. Syntel enables manufacturers to quickly move from outdated mainframe data storage to more efficient, scalable Big Data systems.

“More and more, cars are becoming mobile technology hubs, and digital features are no longer just a fancy option, but a vital part of the vehicle itself,” Khanna said. “Connected cars can send manufacturers important performance data that enables them to identify patterns and apply predictive analytics to detect faults or breakdowns before they happen.”

According to McKinsey, new technology-driven automotive features could add as much as $1.5 trillion in new revenue potential to the industry by 2030, even while the growth rate in vehicle sales drops. This makes it important for manufacturers to recognize the value of their existing customers and invest in creating a positive, lasting customer experience.

“The customer experience is an ongoing process that really relies on staying connected with the consumer after the sale,” Khanna said. “At Syntel, we are working with a truck and commercial vehicle manufacturer to enable real-time monitoring of sensors embedded in more than 20,000 of their vehicles on the road today.”