Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s largest car maker by volumes, entered the connected car space with its first embedded telematic control technology, the Suzuki Connect, which will be available at the Nexa chain of premium dealerships. The new technology has been developed by both Maruti and parent Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), specifically for the Indian market.

Most of Suzuki’s Japanese competitors, such as Honda and Nissan, have already launched their respective telematic technologies, but none were specifically made for India. The new technology will be available for vehicles that are sold from traditional dealerships by the end of this fiscal year.

According to R.S. Kalsi, the global connected car market grew by 18% last year, but in India it is still at a very nascent stage. “By 2020 the connected car market in India will be 2.6% of the total cars parked," he added.

The company had been working on the technology for more than one year and has tested it across 42 cities in the country. Maruti has partnered with Vodafone for providing the network service for this technology.

“We have been working on this technology for a long time and the volumes our products generate will also give us the economies of scale. This is a technology built specifically for India and this is a first. When we launch our hybrid and electric cars, this technology can be improved upon and can be used. It’s always good to have a base," said a senior executive of the company, requesting anonymity.

The new technology will come with emergency alert, location sharing, preventive functional call and live vehicle tracking. According to C.V. Raman, senior executive director, engineering, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Suzuki Connect will be connected to dealer and customer management system and customers will get notifications whenever a servicing is due or required for their vehicle.

“We did conduct a research before working on this technology and it was based on safety, security and performance of the vehicle," added Raman.

The company is expected to accumulate substantial data from its customers and protecting that information is going to be quite a task. “One of the significant features of ‘Suzuki Connect’ is that it is ‘deeply embedded’ and is very difficult to tamper with. Over 2,800 technicians have been trained to install the equipment on cars. Suzuki Connect utilizes a Telematics Control Unit (TCU), which exchanges information through cellular network with a centralised server connected to NEXA customer care," the company said in a press note.

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