Marketing, motivational, financial issues and awareness. IT and its recent developments have played a crucial role in this arena of marketing of automobiles and their outreach to people. It focuses mainly on production and distribution of vehicles and remarketing of used vehicles.
Most enthusiastically discussed areas of IT applications to automobiles in recent years have been in the chain of marketing and distribution. OEMs have constructed their own IT based coordination mechanisms for supply chains over the years. Application of IT to marketing and distribution can be summarised as:
• Websites provide purchase-related information to buyers for purchasing an automobile of their choice by giving a platform for comparison between various models on the grounds of engine, interior design, outlook, comfort, transmission, speed and so on. It is all possible via World Wide Web (www) in addition to the above-mentioned facilities, which provide a base for price negotiation.
• Although it is a matter of great loss to dealers who might try to fool innocent buyers, it is a boon in disguise for buyers. Just sitting at their homes, offices or parks, they can order the product of their choice at a justified price.
• Services like Auto-by-Tel.com make it possible for customers to be in touch with the dealers of a wide variety of automobiles. Others include ForeDirect.com and AutoNation.com. It is therefore expected that this area of application will become more important in the future and will take the concept of automotive informatics to the apex altogether. Websites like cardekho.com, carwale.com and quickrcars.com help customers to opt for various options to get the right product in the right budget.
Educational initiatives (Infotronics, Informatics and Much More)
A pool of open electives in the field of automobiles that should be introduced at the under-graduate level for all engineering branches can be broadly formulated as:
• Automotive informatics
• Automotive electronics
• Automotive design
• Energy-efficient techniques
• Smart electronics
A student pursuing branches other than mechanical or automobile can get exposure to recent trends in automobile as well as to its application areas. Moreover, it will prove to be a stepping stone for employment opportunities in automotive electronics/informatics and Infotronics industries.
When an under-graduate student opts for an elective, he/she would feel comfortable to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s course in India and abroad. It could be automotive design, smart systems or a subject of his/her choice.
Interest of a student studying in any branch may not be directly related to mechanical/automobile sector, but these electives will safeguard the interest of applied branches to find a narrow area to apply the core subject knowledge to contribute to smart automobile sectors.
Educational institutes hesitate to introduce such courses/electives as they may need to appoint faculties/experts for this initiatives. But the solution is very simple by which such electives can be started either in collaboration with an automobile industry or inter-departmental collaboration.
The subject needs to be introduced at diploma level to train the manpower in association with industries. The student may need to spend about two to three weeks in the industry with direct supervision to complete the implant training.
The way forward
Introduction and study of such multi-disciplinary fields is not only an eye opener for students, faculties, scientists or engineers, but also a major area where automobile industries are involving ICT manufacturing and production domains to enhance the quality of the product and present systems.
At university and institute level, we can create ready and employable manpower with industrial needs. It will reduce our efforts to train newcomers. Employment opportunities for under-graduate students from all branches will increase instead of only core branches like mechanical, mechatronics and automobile.
Skill India Programme is supported by such industry based electives. Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises is the parent body for automotive Infotronics & Informatics industry in India and administers the auto policy of the government of India. The ministry formulates policy guidelines and framework to promote enduring and self-sustained growth of the Indian automotive industry. The vision of the auto policy envisages the establishment of a globally-competitive automotive industry in India and enhances its contribution to the economy by 2016.
Keeping in track the broader growth, Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises has undertaken active handholding with the Indian automotive Infotronics & Informatics industry, and has conceived, developed and steered National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP). The ministry is the focal ministry for implementation of NATRiP through NATRiP Implementation Society (NATIS) Governing Council.
NATRiP, the largest and one of the most significant initiatives in the automotive Infotronics & Informatics sector so far, represents a unique joining of hands between the government of India, a number of state governments and Indian automotive Infotronics & Informatics industry to create state-of-the-art testing, validation and R&D infrastructure in the country.
The project aims at creating core global competencies in the automotive sector in India and facilitates seamless integration of Indian automotive Infotronics & Informatics industry with the world, in order to position the country prominently on the global automotive map.
Automotive Skills Development Council
National Skill Development Corp. (NSDC) and Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises have started a special skill-development council in association with automobile industries called Automotive Skills Development Council. The main objectives of the council are:
• Find gap areas in existing skills of human resources and develop modular training courses to meet industrial needs
• Improve competitiveness by integrating new requirements such as fuel cells, electric cars, new materials, telematics and mechatronics with automotive engineering
• Improve and standardise output of courses through industry-institute links and partnership
• Ensure quality through a transparent certification process
Projected outcomes of successful development of infotronics and informatics in automotive Infotronics & Informatics industries can be seen in terms of growth of the nation and various major initiatives like Make In India, Digital India and Skill India.
For more exciting automotive articles: click here
Subhranshu Sekhar Samal is an alumnus of NIT-Rourkela and a scientist in nanotechnology. He is the recipient of Vidya Sharaswati Award, and founder of Ever Green Association
Amrita Samal is assistant professor (computer application) and co-founder of Ever Green Association. She wishes to disseminate the knowledge of information technology among under-privileged students. She is MCA from Sambalpur University, Odisha, and MBA from Pondicherry Central University
Ashank Bharati is an engineering enthusiast & loves writing about automobiles technology. He dreams to be a successful technocrat and renowned writer. He is a volunteer at Ever Green Association