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04 January 2017
BMW HoloActive Touch
 
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 is being organised from 5-8 January, 2017 at Las Vegas, US, and as always, the focus is on the latest global electronic trends and technologies. Following the event last year, this year too is expected to offer visitors a wide range of innovations from the automotive sector. The most conspicuous theme from both OEMs, as well as component suppliers is that of Autonomous Driving and the technologies that assist it.
 
The event will see over 850 new exhibitors, which will include a number of companies from the automotive arena, with an expanded Self-Driving Technology marketplace, as well. Companies will be displaying their autonomous driving technologies, in the form of concept vehicles, as well as demonstrations of gadgets that support self-driving. Component suppliers have announced that they will showcase technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), vision systems and others that complement autonomous driving.
 
OEM PERSPECTIVE
 
The BMW Group said it would be providing consumers with a glimpse into the future of interiors. It is debuting its BMW HoloActive Touch system, which is an interface between the driver and vehicle that acts like a virtual touchscreen. The system has a free-floating display that is operated using finger gestures and confirms commands with what the driver perceives as tactile feedback, the company said. The BMW HoloActive Touch is said to bring together advantages of BMW’s Head-Up Display (HUD), gesture control and direct touchscreen operation, and adds extra features to create a unique form of user interface. The system utilises a camera that detects the driver’s hand movements within the ergonomically user-friendly area, and registers the position of their fingertips, in particular. As soon as a fingertip makes contact with one of these virtual control surfaces, a pulse is emitted and the relevant function is activated.
 
Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating technologies at CES 2017 with the focus being on its CASE corporate strategy CASE, which links connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared) and electric drive systems (Electric). The automaker’s innovations will link the megatrends of networking, autonomous driving, flexible usage models and electric drive systems. Under CASE, Mercedes-Benz will present the Concept EQ and the Mercedes-Benz Vision Van at the event. With the Concept EQ, which has the appearance of a sporty SUV crossover, the company provides a view of a new vehicle generation with battery electric drive. The Vision Van for urban use on the other hand combines innovative technologies for ‘last mile’ deliveries in an integrated system. Mercedes-Benz is also set to demonstrate the next steps on the road to developing the cognitive car, that shows how society's growing health consciousness can be combined with future mobility.
 
Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ
 
CES will see Honda showcasing its vision of a redefined mobility experience, with the unveil of its concepts on urban mobility, artificial intelligence, and robotics. These concepts are expected to offer solutions for reducing traffic congestion to creating new modes of in-car connectivity. Added to this, Toyota will present a new concept vehicle at the CES 2017, which has been produced by the Calty design centre in California. The vehicle will highlight the importance of User Experience (UX) in the development of highly automated vehicles and robots, the company noted. Toyota’s next generation framework for connected vehicles and telematics systems will also be introduced at the event.
 
Fiat Chrysler will display its new UConnect 4 infotainment system, UConnect theater and UConnect Access App for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid at CES 2017. The company said that UConnect 4 builds on the third-generation UConnect system. It now features a faster startup time, enhanced processing power, new 8.4-inch touch screen with touch gestures, sharper graphics and smart phone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Meanwhile, the UConnect Theater system, which is available in the Pacifica minivan, offers rear-seat entertainment for passengers with two 10-inch touch screens. The company will also demonstrate various Pacifica Hybrid-exclusive technologies, such as UConnect system with ‘Hybrid Electric Pages’ that relays information related to power flow, driving history and charge scheduling. FCA added that the system’s UConnect Access app also allows users to check their vehicle’s state of charge range and estimated recharge time from their smartphone or tablet.
 
The electronic show will have Hyundai Motor Company showcasing its vision for future mobility with autonomous IONIQ concepts demonstrating self-driving technology, hyper-connected car platform, as well as wearable robots, micro-mobility solutions   and interactive, health-conscious technology. The company’s hyper-connected car platform, which was developed with Cisco, will show how Smart House and Connected Car technologies will blur the lines between mobility, and living and working spaces. Hyundai’s Healthcare Cockpit connects car and driver to boost productivity or relaxation when travelling.
 
Volkswagen (VW) will debut its Interactive Volkswagen APP, which is set to be the key to a personalised digital experience, and is available now at the App Store and at Google Play. Visitors can create their own VW User-ID to use the show app at the VW booth to experience how human, vehicle and environment in the future, will be intelligently interconnected in the Volkswagen Ecosystem. This app will make it easy for users to configure personal settings, integrate any services from third-party sources and port them wherever desired, regardless of which VW model they step into. VW also said that it is offering a look at future intuitive controls that go beyond touch and gesture control, through its I.D. concept car at CES.
 
Volkswagen App
 
An automotive company making its debut at CES 2017 is Nissan Motor Company, with its Intelligent Mobility solutions. Nissan Intelligent Mobility is said to encompass three core areas of innovation that inspire how the company’s cars are powered, driven, and integrated into society. Nissan Intelligent Driving gives customers more confidence through increased safety, control, and comfort, while Intelligent Power makes driving cleaner and more efficient, and finally Intelligent Integration links cars to the wider society.
 
SUPPLIER SIDE
 
Global automotive supplier Delphi Automotive, along with Mobileye will conduct what is claimed to be the most complex, real-world demonstration of automated driving at CES 2017. The 6.3-mile drive will cover a route combining urban and highway roads, and will showcase Delphi and Mobileye’s Centralized Sensing Localisation and Planning (CSLP) automated driving system, which will be ready for production by 2019. The Las Vegas drive will tackle everyday driving challenges such as highway merges, congested city streets with pedestrians and cyclists and a tunnel, noted Delphi. The other technologies that Delphi will showcase at CES include 48-volt mild hybrid solutions, improved Multi-layer display (MLD), and first-to-market vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology that enables cars to talk to each other. 
 
Renesas Electronics Corporation, microcontrollers and highly-advanced automotive semiconductor solutions provider, will be displaying solutions that enhance autonomous driving. Besides this, the company will also allow visitors to experience its fully-functional autonomous vehicle. The company said that it continues to carry out development into low power consumption solutions for computer vision and sensors, with the main objective this year being on studying functional safety. Additionally, Renesas and QNX will also showcase infotainment solutions at CES 2017.
 
CES 2017 will see NXP displaying demonstrations for secure IoT, secure connected vehicles, secure homes, secure mobile payments and others. For the first time, NXP is showcasing an ADAS demo at the Autonomous Vehicle Marketplace. In line with the theme, Navya introduces its fully-autonomous Navya Arma shuttle at the event. Navya Arma is a driverless and electric public transport vehicle that can carry up to 15 passengers, designed to ensure specific functions of autonomous vehicles, while optimising on navigation and safety. The shuttle is equipped with a range of sensor technologies to provide 3D vision to help it map out the environment, detect obstacles in its path and identify traffic and road signs.
 
Tata Elxsi will be showcasing advanced automotive technology solutions that are driven by emerging industry requirements for cyber-security, safety, comfort and user experience at CES 2017. The company is also showing its industry-first AUTOSAR 4.2.x tool chain running on Linux and Windows operating systems. Its solutions are around the areas of autonomous vehicle, connected infotainment, automation, IoT and artificial intelligence. They include advanced autonomous vehicle middleware platform, with deep learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that have been designed to help OEMs and system suppliers build, test and deploy customisable autonomous vehicle applications. The next technology is a connected cockpit software solution that integrates the instrument cluster, head unit, HUD and ADAS on a single system-on-chip. Tata Elxsi is also showcasing a full suite of test automation solutions for in-vehicle infotainment and ADAS.
 
Autoliv Inc has announced that it will launch a learning, intelligent vehicle (LIV) system, which has been developed to facilitate collaboration and shared control between the driver and vehicle at the event. Autoliv Research is said to have developed this system in order to attain trust and facilitate required safety in autonomous driving. The company noted that the first version of LIV makes use of AI technology, while future versions will incorporate on-line and off-line machine learning. The company will also showcase its solutions for vision systems, radars and sensors, and ADAS.
 
Continental CES 2017 In-vehicle Biometrics
 
CES will witness international automotive components supplier Continental showcasing products and services representing its interpretation of the digitalisation of the automotive world. The solutions will be in the areas of in-vehicle biometrics, entertainment, eHorizon for motorcycles, Intelligent Glass Control, 3D display surface, automated driving sensor and control unit, and Zonar fleet management. In line with this, NVIDIA will be unveiling solutions in the areas of Deep Learning, AI, self-driving cars, virtual reality and gaming.
 
ROUND-UP
 
From the innovations that the companies will be demonstrating at CES 2017, it is clear that autonomous driving, connected vehicles, and drive assistance systems are the core topics of interest. The rate at which innovations concerning autonomous driving are being developed shows that these technologies are moving from being concepts to actually being offered to consumers at a very rapid rate. It can also be seen that component and technology suppliers are on par with OEMs on the level of research being put into new and upcoming technologies and innovations.
01 November 2012

Diversified supplier of automotive parts, Minda Industries has recently developed a map-reading lamp for one of the Toyota vehicles in India. The product, developed by the company’s Lighting Division, consists of two lamps with optimised optics as the light needs to fall in a particular pattern and ensure the fine print of a map is readable. The company is also working on developing LED tail lamps for an undisclosed Indian OEM. Vishnu Johri, President, Minda Industries (Lighting Division) told this magazine that the unit consists of two LED clusters comprising a total of about 28 LEDs. The company is already supplying LED HMSLs (high mounted stop lights) to Tata Motors and Daihatsu in Indonesia, Johri said. In addition, the company has recently secured a contract from another OEM to develop LED tail lamps, and this project is presently in the design phase. Johri believes the industry will gradually make a significant shift towards LEDs, and the company is already working on developing the technology further. 

The company operates two facilities of the Lighting Division in Manesar and Pune. The Manesar plant supplies 90 % of its products to Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), while the remaining production is exported to various markets in the ASEAN region. In some time though, these exports will get transitioned to the company’s new facility in Indonesia. The Manesar plant has a high level of automation and most procedures such as gluing, pressing and moulding are almost entirely automated. In order to increase the rate further, the company has ordered for a turn-table mechanism machine. This machine will assemble HMSLs and will enable the company to save the manpower of about 10 people. 

Apart from MSIL, the company is presently supplying headlamps and tail lamps to Volkswagen for the Polo and Vento models. The company is also trying to increase its automation level to improve efficiency and quality. One challenge faced by companies while making small lamps is that it consists of many small parts, manufacturing of which is a labour-intensive process. Minda is trying to automate this process to the maximum possible extent in order to make the production more efficient. Processes that could be automated include pick and place and the fitment of bulbs into the holders. 

Another aspect the company is actively working on is identifying the right suppliers. Johri told us that while earlier there were just a couple of trustworthy sources, presently they are much more in number. This has been achieved by close cooperation between Minda’s engineers and the suppliers and through close understanding of the right balance between technology and cost. In addition, most of the product development is done in India with cooperation from customers. This allows the company to deliver a good response level, which is a key to the success of any product development partnership.

Johri also talked about the concept of concurrent engineering being followed by Minda Lighting. In case of an overseas customer, the company positions key members of its development team at the customer’s facility or in close vicinity. For such customers, communication is of great importance. The overall process needs to be quick to turnaround despite factors such as time difference or geographical distance. Also, for a clear understanding of technical matters, virtual communication isn’t always the best platform. Any misunderstanding during the design phases can have large effects on the entire project during later phases.

A key reason for Minda Lighting’s success has been its ability to make investments in the right area at the right time. We were told that there has been a shift in the technology for off-road vehicles off late as they’ve moved from conventional lamps to newer technologies. Majority of this change has taken place in the last 2-3 years. Minda was able to allocate the right resources in time at its design centre and as a result the company presently commands about 50 % of the market share in this segment. Investments too are mapped every year on three parameters – expansion, technology and skill development. Based on the results and further requirements, the company makes further investments in these areas. 

In general, global consulting firms and industry bodies have suggested that Indian suppliers do not invest adequately in R&D. Minda Group though invests about three percent of its revenue in R&D, which is an acceptable figure by global standards too. An example for this is the headlamp-levelling motors, which are presently imported or assembled in India. Minda Lighting however has developed such a motor locally and patented its design. The product is already being supplied to the headlamp suppliers of Tata Motors. Region-wise, India and ASEAN region will continue to be the major markets for the division in the medium-term. The future growth for Minda Lighting will be driven by its focus on development of cost-effective technologies, Johri informed.

11 August 2015

ASHISH GULATI is Country Head, Telit Wireless Solutions India

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The concept of connected devices is all set to explode, and there will be a revolution in coming times. The goal is to achieve human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions that enhance all our activities and enrich our lives. Enter the age of “Internet of Things,” where sensors, computers and devices are connected in a self-managing ecosystem.

The number of connected devices is rapidly increasing and expected to increase by 30 % in 2015. As per a study by Gartner, the number of connected devices is expected to reach 4.9 bn by 2020. The connected car is already a reality. In all vehicles, wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding right from luxury to high-volume mid-market models, and this changing landscape of connectivity would build a new set of specifications for the cars of future. 

With an increasing need for digital content within a vehicle, it has emphasised the need for the latest infotainment systems and simultaneously created wide opportunities for application developers and graphics designers. According to a recent report from McKinsey, prominent increase in vehicle connectivity that is transforming the automotive sector could boost the value of the global market for connectivity components and services to € 170 bn by 2020, more than five times higher than today’s € 30 bn.

The car of today is already packed with electronics and, in fact, has the highest density of electronic components as compared to other consumer machines. A plethora of technologies powers the car today and these technologies fall into three domains: safety & security, infotainment & telematics, and powertrain/ fuel economy.

Infotainment and telematics are addressed by technologies that enable smart traffic management, positioning & location-based services, car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication and in the future, perhaps autonomous driving. The powertrain/ fuel economy domain is addressed by technologies in engine control, shift-by-wire, stop/start, engine downsizing, vehicle electrification and street predictability.

Internet of Cars

The internet of cars becomes a full platform within the internet of everything. Safety and security as well as infotainment and telematics are richly enhanced with the benefit of connectivity and data transfer. In today’s time, safety without doubt is a serious concern for car users. The technology within the cars, when connected together, can help each other to be safer. Armed with smart sensors to detect the environment around the car, connectivity to be online, and satellite positioning to establish relative location, cars can inform about traffic and road conditions, as well as other concerns ahead.

Taking safety and security as a top priority, an innovative example of telematics in India is in the state of Kerala. A taxi service, She-Taxi, has been launched in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Kerala State Women's Development Corporation to help women reach their desired destinations safely. She-Taxi has been designed and integrated with web-mobile based convergent technologies, which will monitor and track the activities of the passenger as well as the cab driver. She-Taxis are well equipped with several safety features that are a combination of both technology as well as general features. Safety alert switches for drivers near the seat, passenger safety alert switches at the back side, drivers safety systems on their mobile phone, safety alert receivers at control stations, GPS-based tracking system, controlling over speed, rash driving, sudden brake, sudden turn, remote engine off, theft protection are all an extension and part of telematics, which are playing a role in making taxi services in India safer.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s Commercial Vehicle Telematics Market Outlook, the telematics market in India is expected to reach 1.3 mn units by 2021. Apart from this infrastructure development will be critical to the development and innovation in the telematics market. Government policies on the installation of telematics devices in CVs will help in the growth of the telematics market in India.

Currently, 2G/2.5G-based modules have dominated the Indian telematics market, but with the launch of 3G and 4G networks, a shift towards 3G and 4G based modules is expected over the coming years. 

Telematics applications can automatically execute emergency assistance calls in the time of accidents. Vehicle maintenance, the preventive route to car safety, is already being greatly enhanced. Remote diagnosis of the vehicle and data logging can keep track of and highlight the need for running repairs of the vehicle. Telematics also enables anti-theft features as a stolen car can be tracked and its whereabouts reported to the authorities. On a macro level, the internet of cars can enable intelligent traffic forecast and management through a unified communication network for vehicles that is leading to safer roads, less congestion and lower emissions caused by cars stuck in traffic jams. Such technologies are creating an integrated approach by bringing car safety to a whole new level.

With GPS technology in car navigation, the capability to receive signals from multiple satellite systems and to collect information has improved accuracy and response time in determining vehicle position, and this has expanded the utility of this function beyond basic navigation to safety-related applications.

The Indian telematics market is exhibiting growth as the consumers are becoming more cautious about their safety, while driving. Moreover, automobile companies are collaborating with telematics-module manufacturing companies to develop in-built telematics systems during the production process itself. Added to this, the low-cost telematics solutions are encouraging the end-users as they are able to afford this technology and also enjoy the services being provided by this technology.
 

The Internet-ready vehicle brings with it host of security concerns related to the data it will generate. Like the smartphone platform, the new technology cars are also facing critical issues related to business model, standardisation, etc. The absence of a certified body or an agency for standardisation and regulations of telematics industry is the biggest challenge faced by this sector. Regardless of certain core challenges like adoption of technology, developing countries have a massive potential to leverage and reap benefits of road safety and also improvements in economic efficiency. 

13 April 2017
2nd lamp lighting pic
 
Given the recent advances in automotive transmission technology, and the increasing uptake of automated manual transmission on entry-level hatchbacks in the Indian market, Auto Tech Review recently organised the first edition of Transmission.tech 2017. During this conference, held on April 11 in New Delhi, experts from leading automotive OEMs and suppliers got together for a technical discussion and debate on transmission technologies and future directions for the same. Key focus areas included current trends in the adoption of various transmission types (MT, AT, AMT, CVT and DCT), developments in the domestic market vis-à-vis the global market, and factors of cost, efficiency and affordability.
 
Deepangshu Dev Sarmah Editor-in-chief Auto Tech Review delivering the welcome address
 
Deepangshu Dev Sarmah, Editor-in-chief, Auto Tech Review, delivering the welcome address
 
 
DEBATING THE INDIAN SCENARIO
 
The Indian passenger vehicle market still, by and large, favours manual transmission, partially due to various myths about AT not being suitable for ‘Indian roads’ and ‘Indian traffic conditions,’ as well as the fact that AT-equipped vehicles are not as fuel efficient as their MT-equipped variants. With the advent of the automated manual transmission, which offers most of the convenience and ease of use of the conventional torque-converter type AT, without hurting fuel economy and at a relatively lower price point, things are beginning to change in India, and even buyers of smaller, entry-level cars are now increasingly opting for AMTs. 
 
First Keynote Address by Mr Jitendra B Divgi Managing Director Divgi-TTS
 
First Keynote Address by Mr Jitendra B Divgi, Managing Director, Divgi-TTS
 
 
“With today’s emerging markets being the growth areas of tomorrow, various estimates point to the new target markets altering the relative composition of the global automotive industry in the next 10 to 15 years. This is a significant observation, as at least three fundamental approaches to achieving automatic power delivery are available today. However, none of them has been assimilated to any significant extent in the emerging regions of the automotive industry worldwide,” said Jitendra B Divgi, Managing Director, Divgi-TTS, during his keynote address. 
 
He also mentioned that advances in stepped automatics using hydrodynamic planetary configurations (conventional ATs) currently compete with AMTs, CVTs and DCTs. “Which of these technologies is most suitable depends on the overall value proposition that can be offered to the consumer in terms of price, fuel economy, pleasing performance and a certain standard of durability and reliability,” he added.
 
Speakers agreed that while all kinds of AT technology is readily available, getting the cost-quality ratio right is a key challenge, especially in the Indian context. While automatic transmission has been around for more than 70 years, cost is still a restraining factor and in the Indian context, as long as AT kits are being imported, costs are not likely to come down. On the other hand, what’s encouraging is that competition in the world’s second largest automotive market has buoyed hardware and software development, with OEMs around the world having set-up operations in India to develop tailor-made solutions for this market.
 
Gregoire Cuny Head of BU Transmission Asia  Managing Director Continental Asia provides the component perspective for AT development
 
Gregoire Cuny, Head of BU Transmission Asia & Managing Director, Continental Asia, provides the component perspective for AT development
 
 
“In the next five years, DCT and CVT will grow by more than 5 % per year. Manual transmissions will also keep growing due to high demand in emerging countries. Dedicated hybrid transmissions will enter the market in 2019-20 and will grow with double digit numbers,” said Gregoire Cuny, Head of BU Transmission Asia and Managing Director, Continental Asia. 
 
“MT will remain mainstream but will continue to lose market share until 2025. There will be increased AMT penetration due to similar fuel efficiency and cost as MT. Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra, Renault and Tata Motors have launched AMTs, which will fuel growth for AMTs in India in the future. DCT will grow, given similarity in architecture with MT and as a natural next step for efficiency. However, AT penetration will remain quite low due to cost and technology barriers. CVT has already been introduced by Nissan and Maruti Suzuki. However, its growth will be slow and it will account for less than 2 % share in 2025. Advances in DCT and CVT technology is expected to bring down their price [however], AMT would continue being an economical path to automation, especially in lower vehicle segments,” added Dhruv Chhabra, Senior Consultant – Strategic Consulting, Ricardo India.
 
Dhruv Chhabra Senior Consultant - Strategic Consulting Ricardo India speaks about the changing transmission dynamics in India
 
Dhruv Chhabra, Senior Consultant - Strategic Consulting, Ricardo India, speaks about the changing transmission dynamics in India
 
 
While A- and B-segment will witness increasing penetration of AMTs, Chhabra noted that DCTs will grow share in C-segment due to efficiency. Automated transmissions will take a larger share of the low volume D/E- segments, as shift quality and refinement are key requirements.
 
Anoop Bhatt, Vice President (Engineering), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd was of the opinion that AMTs offer the perfect blend of convenience, comfort and affordability for most Indian car owners, especially in the smaller, entry level car segment. Globally, CVTs and DCTs are dominating most markets and with technology adoption happening rapidly in India, local OEMs might follow suit over the coming years.
 
Anoop Bhat Vice President Engineering Maruti Suzuki India explains the vaibility of manual transmissions for the Indian market
 
Anoop Bhat, Vice President (Engineering), Maruti Suzuki India, explains the vaibility of manual transmissions for the Indian market
 
 
THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SPACE
 
As per views expressed by industry experts during the Transmission.tech 2017 Conference, the commercial vehicle space has kept pace with developments in the passenger vehicle segment in terms of transmission technology. In many cases, the internal combustion (IC) engines doing duty on CVs today generate usable torque and power in a narrow rev range, making the efficiency zone of the engine quite narrow. An efficient transmission system extracts maximum power and torque as required, during varied driving conditions and payload settings, without hurting fuel economy, thus making it a critical component in CV operations.
 
ii
 
Alok Muley, Senior Manager – Transmission Design, VC Commercial Vehicles, spoke of advantages offered by current transmission service providers
 
 
Modern day CV transmission systems are, in fact, equipped with improved gear analysis tools, better manufacturing control and optimised gear geometry, which reduces operational losses and internal friction levels. Reiterating the advantages offered by current transmission service providers, Alok Muley, Senior Manager – Transmission Design, VC Commercial Vehicles, said that with cost-effective utilisation of available technology, transmission developers can ensure improved vehicle life and better efficiency for a commercial vehicle in the long run. 
 
With BS IV regulations being made mandatory for CVs, a transmission that helps the engine operate at higher efficiency levels is the need of the hour, and is the goal for suppliers working towards next-generation transmission systems for CVs. Manual transmission units still cater to the majority of CV transmission requirements in India, as they can be adapted to various applications with high modularity. With the use of component and system level validation, time to market can also be reduced. However, with increased demands for ease of use in this sector, the AMT is also likely to make increased inroads into this segment over the coming years. 
 
“Transmission manufacturers today need to develop a ground-up design based on domestic requirements, instead of importing the unit, which provides lower levels of customisation. A 6-speed unit is ideally suited for Indian CV requirements and it should be in tune with the engine characteristics,” said Surendar Shawn Paul, Head of Drivelines & PMO Engineering, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
 
Surendar Shawn Paul Sr. General Manager Head of Drivelines  PMO Engineering MM speaks about transmission for CVs
 
Surendar Shawn Paul, Sr. General Manager, Head of Drivelines & PMO Engineering, M&M, speaks about transmission for CVs
 
 
CONCLUSION
 
The proceedings at Transmission.tech2017 were wrapped up with a panel discussion, which focussed on the road ahead for automotive transmissions in India and the technology adoption required for the future. It delved into the timeline by when India would be fully prepared to have ATs across all vehicle formats. IV Rao, Executive Advisor, Maruti Suzuki India said that he expects the Indian automotive industry to take another 10 years for this paradigm shift to happen. Sajid Mubashir, Member-Secretary, DHI-DST Technology Platform for Electric Mobility (TPEM) added that while India could outsource AT technology, but would have to develop the capability to manufacture AT units in the country in order to bring costs down, and encourage widespread adoption. “The challenge is to develop and have the hardware modules ready, so that once the domestic capacities are in place, the hardware-software amalgamation can happen immediately,” he said.
 
Sajid Mubashir Member-Secretary DHI-DST Technology Platform for Electric Mobility TPEM speaks on technology development for electric vehicles
 
Sajid Mubashir, Member-Secretary, DHI-DST Technology Platform for Electric Mobility (TPEM), speaks on technology development for electric vehicles
 
 
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TOP 5 TRANSMISSION TRENDS IN INDIA
 
At the inaugural Transmission.tech 2017 Conference, held on 11 April in New Delhi, and organised by Auto Tech Review, India’s leading automotive-technology publication, speakers from leading OEMs and automotive suppliers expressed their thoughts on key developments in the area of automotive transmissions. During the debate and discussions that ensued between experts from the industry, some clear trends emerged, which indicate future direction for automotive transmission in India that we are likely to see over the next 5-10 years. Here, we take a look at five of these trends.
 
Transmissions that can provide the convenience of an automatic, but at a significantly lower price point and without hurting fuel efficiency, to gain widespread popularity. In this context, users are willing to comprise on the smooth/slick operation of the conventional torque converter or CVT, and go for cheaper AMTs despite the actual driving experience not being as good, since it meets their demands of convenience and economy.
 
Small, entry-level hatchbacks to drive the development and refinement of AMT (automated manual transmission) technology, which is expected to see widespread adoption over the next five years. With AMT adoption rates already as high as 33 % in some entry-level cars (for example: Maruti Celerio), the rate is expected to go up to 66 % by the year 2020 for small cars in that segment.
 
While AMTs will be popular on smaller, entry-level cars, for higher-end products, other forms of automatic transmission will prevail, while the manual transmission will continue to decline in popularity and usage. Also, there may be a decline in the popularity of the conventional torque-converter AT, with European OEMs preferring to go with dual-clutch (DCT) automatics, which offer best performance in terms of acceleration and rapid rate of gear changes, while Japanese and other Asian OEMs expected to go for CVTs, for smooth operation, high efficiency, greater comfort levels and better fuel economy.
 
Automatic start-stop systems on conventional IC-engined vehicles (sometimes referred to as ‘mild hybrids’ by some OEMs) expected to provide a further push to the adoption of automated manual and fully automatic transmissions, and could be the beginning of the end for the manual transmission. Fuel saving start-stop systems ideally need at least an AMT, and preferably other, higher-end ATs for smooth, seamless functioning. With start-stop expected to become mandatory for PVs in most countries over the next five years, the manual transmission is expected to see further decline in demand.
 
From 2019-20 onwards, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles are expected gain much bigger scale and mass-market momentum, which will drive further innovation in the area of automotive transmission. With full EVs and also certain types of hybrids, where the IC engine is never directly driving the vehicle’s wheels and motive power is always provided by the electric motor, the conventional transmission, as we know it now, is likely to disappear altogether, giving way to new direct-drive systems. To quote one example, the current-generation Honda Accord Hybrid is already leading the way with this development, and does not feature a conventional transmission at all.
 
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More images from the event:
 
Second Keynote Address by Dr Thomas Hülshorst Group Vice President Electronics  Electrification FEV Group GmbH
 
Second Keynote Address by Dr Thomas Hülshorst, Group Vice President, Electronics & Electrification, FEV Group GmbH
 
Mani Bhushan Systems Engineer Punch Powertrain Belgium shares his views on 4-wheeler transmission
 
Mani Bhushan, Systems Engineer, Punch Powertrain, Belgium, shares his views on 4-wheeler transmission
 
Jonathan Checketts Global Product Manager GGB Bearing Technology talks about the advancements required in hardware technology for MTs  ATs
 
Jonathan Checketts, Global Product Manager, GGB Bearing Technology, talks about the advancements required in hardware technology for MTs & ATs
 
Sudeep Dalvi Vice President - Product Design  Development Toyota Kirloskar Motors shares his views on Electric and Hybrid vehicle transmission technology
 
Sudeep Dalvi, Vice President - Product Design & Development, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, shares his views on Electric and Hybrid vehicle transmission technology
 
Sophie Weyh Sales Manager PUNCH Powerglide Strasbourg France explains the global standards towards CAFE norms
 
Sophie Weyh, Sales Manager, PUNCH Powerglide Strasbourg, France, explains the global standards towards CAFE norms
 
Uwe Schmidt Director Business Development Burke Porter Group USA provides insights on transmission RD for hybrids  EVs
 
Uwe Schmidt, Director, Business Development, Burke Porter Group, USA, provides insights on transmission R&D for hybrids & EVs
 
IV Rao Executive Advisor Maruti Suzuki India shares his thoughts during the panel discussion
 
IV Rao, Executive Advisor, Maruti Suzuki India, shares his thoughts during the panel discussion
 
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