Why EVs must become software-defined vehicles to power the future
Greaves Electric Mobility is changing the face of last-mile delivery and micro-mobility in India. The company spoke to HERE at Directions Gurgaon.
India's goal is for electric vehicles (EVs) to make up 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial vehicles and 80% of two and three-wheelers by 2030.
To meet these ambitious targets, companies such as Greaves Electric Mobility will be vital. The firm aims to democratize smart and sustainable mobility solutions and do its bit to heal the planet. The focus is mainly on the two and three-wheeler vehicles that are perfect for last-mile delivery and short city trips.
Speaking at the recent HERE Directions event in Gurgaon, Bob Paul Raj, Vice President and Head of Software and Digital at Greaves Electric Mobility, was positive about the current EV landscape. To convince fleets and individuals to go electric, consumers must get a level of performance that not only meets but exceeds that of ICE vehicles.
“There are a lot of challenges in terms of the tech," he told HERE's Senior Director and Head of Business for Southeast Asia and India, Abhijit Sengupta, during a fireside chat.
“The vehicle has to go through a transformation and become a software-defined vehicle. The question for the OEMs is, how are they going to knit those pieces together and deliver the data-driven value to the ecosystem and consumer?
“These are fundamental challenges which most OEMs are grappling with, and every day there is a new solution."
The importance of location technology
The performance of an EV is not just important for the person who is driving it. “Experience is going to be the key differentiator, and it will be personalized," Sengupta said. “But the experience goes beyond who is driving the vehicle, and extends to those who are receiving the goods and services being delivered."
Big Data will be crucial to power these experiences, along with location technology.
Raj said: “Location technology is going to be a big problem solver for many end users." With maps built into the electronic device ecosystem, they can do more than help a driver get from A to B.
“Some mapping technologies will enable you to complete your work," he said. “They help you enjoy your journey, and in the B2B space, they play a huge role in ensuring return on investment and delivering efficiency."
For EVs, addressing range anxiety is part of the picture. We now have the technology to show delivery drivers how many stops they can make within the range of their next charging station.
Range is calculated based not only on the best, safest and any alternative routes available, but also on driver behavior and how that is likely to affect the range. Information on the route can include battery swap stations as well as charge points.
Powering the future
With the acceleration in EV adoption in India, little wonder that Raj predicts the last mile and micro-mobility sectors will be completely electrified in the next 5-10 years.
“It is going to be a data-driven user system because, over the next 10 years, we will accumulate so much data that we will be able to tell much more about what the consumer wants," he said. “We envisage a display-less vehicle with a virtual companion talking to you continually through the helmet visor," he said.
In this vision, the map would be integrated seamlessly into the directions, with information reaching the driver in real-time.
“I see a huge level of collaboration between OEMs and mapping companies because location services solve a lot of problems," he summed up.
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