New Delhi: The soon-to-be-launched
internet-enabled passenger cars, via SIM card connections, will have the
ability to not only become major product differentiators but also prop
up sales, experts said.
The new age passenger vehicles will access internet either through a normal SIM card or E-SIM (electronic SIM) card. The technology is set to impact everything from insurance premiums to sub-leasing of cars.
Even a higher price tag might not hinder sales, as initially the internet-enabled cars are expected only in the top-end variants whose customers can look forward to a host of futuristic services like vehicle self-diagnoses, the latest entertainment feed and automatic emergency systems.
On the other hand, the application provides various tertiary revenue generating streams for auto and telecom companies.
Industry watchers revealed that almost all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) plan to develop or launch new models featuring this type of technology, which might become as common as air bags in the near future.
Till now, automobile majors such as Hyundai and MG Motor have disclosed information about their upcoming models sporting this technology.
"The connected experience in MG Hector is powered by a customized solution developed by Unlimit in partnership with Cisco and Airtel," MG Motor India President and MD Rajeev Chaba said.
"The connected mobility solution on the MG Hector is also Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) ready for 5G. Airtel was chosen as the telecommunication partner because of the strength of its pan-India 4G network, as well as the high-speed internet connectivity that it enables."
The marquee British automaker will sell, by June this year, MG Hector with iSMART Next Gen, which will be the first internet car in India and redefine connected mobility.
According to Sridhar V., Partner with Grant Thornton India, the new technology type will be a product differentiator and offered as an advantage to its customers.
"E-SIM enabled car, in a sense, turns out that the automobile also functions as a mobile device. Connected cars mobility solutions are enhanced through a E-SIM, adding to the convenience and safety factor," Sridhar told IANS.
"It simplifies various operations which otherwise requires special effort in a seamless fashion. The service levels of the OEM grow multi-fold with this new technology."
On its part, Hyundai has showcased connected SUV Venue which has an in-built and tamper-proof device powered by Vodafone-Idea E-SIM and a cloud-based voice recognition platform.
The SUV sports "Blue Link" which is Hyundai's global technology slated to be introduced in the Indian market with 33 features, out of which 10 are India-specific.
Additionally, the trend will get a boost due to the proliferation of smart connected devices, machine-to-machine communication and wearables.
"Slowing demand and the ability to keep the cars connected, even when it is with the user, opens up options for selling, leasing or other ways of allowing customers to experience the car," Rahul Mishra, Principal at A.T. Kearney, told IANS.
"E-SIM enabled connectivity also allows to remotely monitor the vehicle usage pattern and accordingly optimise financing and insurance expenses. With 5G technologies coming in, pushing more digital content and content monetisation will become game changers."