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Connected Cars, IoT Drive Automakers to Invest in Digital Modernization

To succeed in tomorrow's smarter, connected auto industry, manufacturers need to invest today, says Syntel's CEO

TROY, Mich.–In the automotive industry today, manufacturers are increasingly partnering with non-traditional players, such as software companies, in order to integrate innovative digital technologies into their products. And it appears to be leading to a future in which not only will connected vehicles enable manufacturers 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 gives automakers access to new streams of real-time data from vehicles, which can provide valuable insight into their products and their consumers. And 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 by 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 Troy, Michigan-based 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," said Khanna in a company release. "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 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. Via such tools as the SyntBots® automation platform, Syntel enables manufacturers to quickly move from outdated mainframe data storage to more efficient, scalable big data systems, potentially improving performance while reducing maintenance and support costs by as much as 30 percent. The results, according to Khanna, are higher quality products, greater customer satisfaction, and the ability to create real value from this data.

"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," he 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."

Khanna said the benefits of this type of analysis are greater efficiency, better customer service, reduced warranty costs, improved vehicle safety, and the ability to apply real-time insights about vehicle performance to the design and engineering of future models.

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," said Khanna. "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. The system benefits their business in multiple ways, including more efficient operations, increased customer loyalty, and the ability to create a valuable cycle where the collected data today helps build safer, more reliable vehicles tomorrow."

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