Coming up: the ‘auto’ era of automobiles
Mobility as we know is set for a big leap, and the era of “auto”-mobile is truly upon us
Till 10 years ago, driverless cars were in the realm of sci-fi movies and batteries were primarily the preserve of golf carts. Today, technology and mobility are witnessing an unprecedented convergence, and the transformation is not just restricted to the labs in the Silicon Valley, but is taking shape nearer home.
Mobility as we know is set for a big leap, and the era of “auto”-mobile is truly upon us.
Throughout human evolution, mobility has been at the core of all progress and development. Although we now live in a world where ever increasing aspects of our lives can be controlled from our boardrooms and bedrooms, the physical world still exists and mobility is integral to it.
Realizing the new possibilities, the Indian automobile industry is working with the finest minds from the technology space to explore new avenues in mobility. And this approach to innovation is despite the everyday challenges that the industry faces, be it business barriers or policy parameters.
The Indian automobile and transportation sector has been at the centre of a constant debate for more than a decade now. While on the one hand we have registered moderate annualized growth, on the other hand, we have witnessed huge inflow of investments from global companies who are bullish on the country’s future potential.
As synergies between the digital and the automotive industries continue to develop further in the years to come, we will see more and more innovative automotive applications on Indian roads. For instance, young minds at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology-Delhi are already working on a driverless autonomous shuttle vehicle to provide last-mile connectivity to urban Indians.
The implementation of new mobility technologies is imminent. We have witnessed how new technology has changed the communication sector over the past decade. There are similar trends for the automotive industry and we are on the cusp of witnessing an amazing change in the way we commute.
Like we saw during the World Economic Forum at Davos recently, the world is watching India and it’s time for Indian companies to take up the mantle of reshaping the future of personal and commercial mobility.
As the world’s largest two-wheeler market and a top 5 four-wheeler market, India is a key stakeholder and will have to play a central role in developing and implementing the new-age mobility solutions. From being a centre for new product development and low-cost manufacturing, we need to emerge as the hub of innovation in future mobility.
I have always been a firm believer in the transformative power of technology, and I truly believe that all the mobility solutions in the future will be driven by technology and innovation.
The challenge is to go truly eco-friendly, making even existing operations as green as possible—from making our manufacturing practices eco-friendly, to ensuring the products operate in the greenest possible way.
We, at Hero, have already set an example here. One of our manufacturing facilities in Rajasthan is known as the “Garden Factory” for the number of eco-friendly measures it adopts. It is the only manufacturing plant across the two-wheeler and automobile industry in India to have been “Platinum-rated” for its complete value chain.
I strongly feel the urgent need for a synergy between the existing industrial set-ups and new-age technology start-ups to meaningfully drive the future. There are many new start-ups in India that are now trying to match global tech giants in developing and producing new solutions that will drive the next phase of mobility.
I am confident that as a nation, with efforts at multiple levels, we will adapt, accept and utilize the new era of mobility.
Pawan Munjal is chairman, MD and CEO of Hero MotoCorp. Respond to this column at firstname.lastname@example.org
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