Innovating To Address Future Mobility Needs

Industry Track May 2019 BlueBinaries Innovating Future Mobility
Innovating To Address Future Mobility Needs

Driven by the enormous possibilities in the future of mobility, a few senior professionals in the automotive industry explored the possibility of coming together to build an organisation of their own. Today – two years after it was founded with 15 people – BlueBinaries Engineering & Solutions Pvt Ltd (BBES) is rapidly developing its footprint in various facets of automotive industry, especially in the core areas of electrical and electronic systems.

Leading the team as the Chief Executive Officer is Srinivas Aravapalli (Above), an industry veteran formerly with Mahindra & Mahindra, ably aided by Kishore LM, Vice President, BBES (Below) and a very experienced senior management team with a cumulative experience of 200+ years in electrical & electronic systems. The BBES team has grown to 130 people currently, operating out of three locations – its global headquarters Chennai, Pune and Woking, United Kingdom. In the next couple of years, the headcount is expected to grow to 500 people across geographies.

CORE COMPETENCE

Over the years, the Indian engineering design and development industry has emerged as one of the largest exporters of engineering services and solutions to the global mobility industry. Having said that, in comparison to the advanced work being done in the areas of ADAS or autonomous mobility in the western world, the Indian industry still has a lot of catch up to do. While these are two of the core focus areas for the company, BBES also aims to make significant contributions in the areas of electrification and connectivity.

It brings to the table expertise in the domains of body electronics & safety, infotainment & connectivity, HIL testing, electrical distribution, E/E architecture and functional safety – all contributing towards meeting the challenges of global megatrends.

From a technology perspective, Srinivas feels there’s a gap of seven to eight years – maybe even a decade – between the developed markets and India. The objective is to bridge that gap, and help the Indian industry leapfrog by offering them the knowledge and capabilities to deliver high-end technology. The company is engaged with several OEMs and Tier I suppliers globally, and is working on some “very exciting” projects, details of which weren’t shared with us due to non-disclosure agreements.

The team has developed capabilities of conceptualisation from system design to series production, with in-depth expertise of development, validation, integration and application. The team, claimed Srinivas, has built a strong delivery track record of extremely complex HIL systems and LAB cars, while developing good capabilities in building test equipment and developing & running test cases.

The company is also looking at covering the entire spectrum of conceptualisation of a system. Srinivas explained, “It could be infotainment, instrument cluster or a centre console. We want to conceptualise a system from a styling design standpoint to feature function matrix finalisation, to working with the product planning department in order to finalise the functional requirements, to meet current customer demands in the Indian scenario. We want to go up to that level of conceptualisation.”

To get to the desired level, acquiring and retaining the right talent will be critical. Mindful of the challenge, the company is trying to tie-up with some institutes and universities to recruit the best talent available. Thereafter, the idea is to engage them on projects so they learn on the job, and ensure they become product specialists in about five years.

INNOVATIONS AT BBES

Although a fairly young company, BBES has picked up many exciting projects with customers across the globe. We briefly discuss two such innovations:

:: TPMS Sensor Emulator for HiL Testing: The company has conceptualised an emulator to replicate the complete characteristics and behaviour of TPMS sensor. This allows the tester to create ubiquitous test scenarios without exposing to actual environment, thereby reducing cost and maximising test coverage that evaluates the tyre dynamics, with the help of modelling and sensor fusion algorithms in both manual and automated approach.

:: Next-Gen ADAS Test Automation: BBES has developed a new-gen ADAS automated testing approach to automate complete test execution process of deriving the test cases from database to publishing the results into the defect management system. This innovative test approach includes auto generation of test scenarios or environments for a selected functionality using varied automation tools.

In addition, the company has established a state-of-the-art HiL set-up, claimed to be a one-of-its-kind in the automotive world, which performs complex functions for chassis systems, comfort systems, passive restraint systems as well as autonomous systems. The system is also useful to carry out ADAS development, which includes functions such as failure mode analysis, system algorithms validation, and calibration. It also helps conduct autonomous vehicle functions, including environmental simulation for CAV, safety validation & controllability, etc.

BlueBinaries aims to make significant contributions in the areas of electrification and connectivity

FOCUS ON DOMESTIC MARKET

BBES is focussing on the domestic automotive market in two ways – one, by looking at the entire ecosystem including OEMs and Tier I suppliers, and two, by focussing on the global tech centres run out of the country. Srinivas is confident of BBES playing a significant role in both the scenarios. “We’ll ensure OEMs don’t repeat the same mistakes, same problems or same defects. We’ll make sure that we provide bundle of test cases, tons of best scenarios and focus more on overall reliability and durability to ensure our products are no way inferior to the rest of the world,” he said. Within the next one year, he is confident of acquiring significant businesses with a couple of big brands for its tech centres in India.

CONCLUSION

Autonomous mobility is still a distant possibility in India, but the other megatrend of shared mobility is likely to pick up steam much faster. From a BBES perspective, there’s a clear overlap of shared mobility with connected and autonomous vehicles. Although there are lot of discussions around connected and electrified vehicles in the country, Srinivas rues the fact that there’s very little action on ground. For now, the company is carefully studying and exploring possibilities in the space.

TEXT: Deepangshu Dev Sarmah