We Indians have always cherished our cars. Dating back to early 20th century when Indian Maharajas imported and customized luxury cars like Rolls Royce to today when India is emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing passenger car market.
Not just cars, India also happens to be the largest smartphone market in the world today and Indians love to be connected and digitally empowered. Given this, the new age Indian car consumers are looking for connectivity and multimedia technologies integrated even on the cars they buy. In a demand generated market scenario such as this, content-rich technologies like IVI, Smartphone Connectivity and Navigation are emerging as the new playfields for carmakers, Tier 1 companies and car technologists in India.
The carmakers offering IVI technologies in India are Tata Motors, Mahindra Motors, General Motors, Fiat Automobile, Volkswagen, Renault along with luxury car makers like BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche.
Mahindra cars like XUV5OO, Scorpio run Blue Sense App to have better controls on the features of the infotainment system and parking assistance. Mahindra has joined Google’s Open Automotive Alliance to integrate Android Auto technology into their cars. Tata cars like Vista D90 and Aria have navigation and multimedia IVI solution on their cars. Toyota has launched the Etios Xclusive edition in the Indian market endowed with a large touch-enabled display integrated multimedia system. Fiat Linea is integrated with an infotainment system which has satellite navigation, automatic climate control and their Punto has excellent In-car entertainment and climate control.
Hyundai Verna Fluidic has a V-shaped central console with integrated infotainment panel, single-zone climate control. Chevrolet Sail by General Motors includes a high-end infotainment climate control system and Mobile Streaming. Ford Fiesta, Ecosport and Endeavour have SYNC application infotainment interface and parking assistance controls. Skoda Rapid is equipped with Bluetooth support, GPS navigation and infotainment content and Skoda Octavia has touchscreen infotainment system. Nissan Sunny offers infotainment unit with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Now let’s look at the present trends driving the IVI market in India. Current infotainment systems have AM/FM, USB playback and BT phone calling features. Touch screen control is coming in mid and high-end models. India doesn’t have a large installed based on legacy navigation systems. So it is easy for the Indian buyer to directly migrate to the latest in navigation technologies.
Being the largest growing smartphone market in the world, it is natural to expect Smartphone connectivity to become the next trend that will drive the Indian car market.Android has over 80% market share in the Indian smartphone market. Indian drivers (even taxi drivers), are increasingly relying on Google maps for getting around Indian cities. Smartphone mirroring technologies, especially Android Auto, is sure to become a hit in the Indian market.
The car electronics sector appears to be the new sunrise in the Indian automotive space.With a growth prediction of 6+ million car units by 2020, the Indian passenger car and In-Car infotainment are bright spots that the world car industry may have to keenly watch. So let’s wait and see the rise of the Indian future car.