The automotive industry today is going through transformative changes. From driving to sustainability to the future of mobility with electric, the manufacturers are vying to develop vehicles that are innovative and appeal to the consumers while adhering to the regulations. Digitalization of processes is one aspect that is helping the manufacturers to visualize, design and test their vehicles in concept stage before moving to production. And, at the helm of digitalization is Creative Synergies Group helping the companies to achieve strategic, commercial and operational success. In conversation with Dr. Mukesh Gandhi, Founder and CEO, Creative Synergies Group, who talks about the company’s vision and strategy for the Indian automotive industry to make themselves futureproof.
Here’s an excerpt of the interaction:
India in recent years has been witnessing a boom in the EV space. How do you see the Indian EV market evolving?
Growing at a CAGR of 47.09% (2022-27), the Indian EV market is expected to reach the market value of $15.398 billion by 2027. However, factors such as the ongoing geopolitical conflicts, looming threat of inflation and the zero-covid policy in China have increased the prices of raw materials such as lithium, used to make EV batteries.
Considering this, several countries, including India, are looking into ways to have private miners extract raw materials domestically. The government is also offering financial incentives to businesses setting up battery swapping stations, promoting battery leasing. If implemented successfully, these measures could reduce the cost of EVs in India significantly, fueling its widespread adoption.
India is also coming up with ways to deal with roadblocks associated with lithium-ion batteries. With initiatives such as the National Hydrogen Mission, the country is in motion to scale up the production of fuel cell green hydrogen. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) eliminate challenges associated with lithium batteries, such as degradation of battery, time spent charging and battery swapping.
It is evident that the future of EVs in India is supercharged and, with these developments, EVs have the potential to become the norm.
Creative Synergies Group can support electrification through our expertise in concept design, system integration and controls, power electronics, and battery assembly, packaging and installation.
We provide EV companies with digital solutions in IoT, embedded electronics, digital manufacturing, autonomous navigation, connectivity, shared mobility, software development, cloud engineering and data analytics.
Digital Twin, Industry 4.0, IoT, AI, etc. are being incorporated by industries across sectors to bring innovative solutions faster to the market. How can automotive companies adopt these technologies to innovate continuously in a cost-effective manner?
With the advent of new technologies like digital twins, Industry 4.0, IoT and predictive analytics the automotive industry is going through a new renaissance. In a completely virtual environment, design and simulation of the complete car, including its software, mechanics, electrics, and physical behavior, is included in the digital twins of the product. This makes it possible to mimic and evaluate each stage of the development process in order to find issues and predict potential failures before making actual parts. Apart from this, the digital twins can be of great value by providing employee training, understanding manufacturing capacity, predictive maintenance and sales.
By adopting digital twins and other newer technologies OEMs can become cost-effective, save time and increase productivity with a better success ratio for their products. OEMs need to invest more in machine learning algorithms to process large quantities of sensor data and identify data patterns. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) provide data insights about performance optimization, maintenance, emissions outputs, and efficiencies.
From your perspective, where does India stand in the autonomous mobility space? Such cars generate huge amounts of data that need to be processed real-time within the car, how do you see Creative Synergies Group’s services/solutions helping in this space?
In developing nations like India, the future of autonomous automobiles is still uncertain. India is able to attain automation level 2, which requires one or more driver assistance systems for steering, acceleration/deceleration, and braking using LiDAR scanners and cutting-edge sensors. Safety features and systems are partially automated, such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA).
The application of autonomous automobiles in India may be constrained by lack of reliable infrastructure, clogged roads, networked car technology, and high-speed internet connectivity. In India, autonomous vehicles lack any legal protection under the 1988 Indian Motor Vehicles Act or its most recent 2019 modifications.
As OEMs make progress in the autonomous mobility space, Creative can provide expertise in big data, analytics, simulations, software development, systems engineering, image processing, algorithm development, and more.
How can OEMs, especially component manufacturers, adopt emerging technologies to become efficient and smarter from a product’s inception to its implementation?
Indian OEMs typically have very limited bandwidth to adopt emerging technologies as compared to their counterparts in developed nations. In fact, that is one of the few factors holding the industry back from competing on a global scale. This situation can be alleviated to some extent by partnering with deep-technology service providers who have global experience.
For instance, we, at Creative Synergies Group, support automotive OEMs globally in producing engineering battery systems and help them accelerate their electrification rates. For one of our global clients, we developed a groundbreaking autonomous robot to charge EVs. This robot featured cutting-edge technologies including LiDAR navigation, battery pack, charge controller, and more.
To put things in perspective, it will be challenging to innovate without the means of production. By partnering with service partners, Indian OEMs can innovate, customize and produce top of the line EVs.
OEMs can also streamline production by adopting digitization through each step in the product life cycle. Each investment will support them in enhancing their manufacturing process and will add to their product quality being globally competitive.
What are the key technology trends in the automotive space that you see becoming mainstream in 2023?
As consumers warm up to technologically advanced vehicles, automotive OEMs have the opportunity to turn the tides of sales in 2023. Factors such as stringent emission regulations, lower battery costs and widely available charging infrastructure will support the industry in the quest to meet their sales and sustainability targets.
In 2022, India saw a 48% increase in EV sales compared to the previous year. While this is good news for automotive OEMs, the speed of adoption in 2023 will be determined by total cost of ownership and strong regulatory push, which could vary.
However, the EVs produced in 2023 and beyond will be safer, smarter and have enhanced connectivity features, improving user experience. The industry will start to focus more on making EVs with industry 4.0 technology such as IoT, AI and ML. The data collected through these could enhance the vehicle’s navigation capabilities, predict and prevent user behaviors such as hard braking and enable safer auto-pilot features.
India’s vehicle electrification of two and three wheelers is also expected to increase in the coming years. This is fueled by the popularity of shared mobility and ride hailing platforms. Following this and considering the government’s push for EVs, electrified forms of public transportation could become more popular in 2023.