‘India can innovate on cost reduction of cars’

Chennai, June 29 (IANS) India enjoys the major manufacturing advantage over European and American vehicle manufacturers when it comes to cost innovativeness, a top automobile industry official Monday said.

‘We can demonstrate to the world that we can innovate. I saw three years of conceptualisation of Tata Nano while at Tata Motors. How do you take the extra rupee out of a vehicle is a major challenge,’ Hinduja Automotive’s executive vice chairman V.Sumantran said.

Delivering the K.C.G. Verghese memorial lecture on ‘Frontier of Automotive Engineering and Opportunities for India’, he said: ‘India has a huge young population and youth have to compete with each other to succeed. This offers many opportunities for India.’

Referring to the increasing number of onboard computers in a vehicle, Sumantran added that miniaturisation of components and electronics needs embedded software systems which India has the capability to provide.

The use of nano technology and increasing onboard electronics will reshape the frontiers of automotive engineering while miniaturisation is becoming important as the focus is on reducing the carbon footprint and be environment friendly, he remarked.

According to him, the role of autonomous or remote management of vehicle will gain importance and already some university students have started working on this area.

‘A fair amount of autonomy will be there even in the normal vehicles that are seen on the city roads. Similarly virtualisation is another frontier of engineering which would gain importance as it would cut costs,’ Sumantran added.

Delivering the special address on ‘Industry-Institute Relationships’, Lucas TVS’ chief executive officer N.Ravichandran said: ‘The need of the hour is to have synergies between industry and academic institution’s efforts. Both should identify areas of common interests and work together’.

He said a forum of experts can be formed – say retired industry officials – which the institutes can approach for advice or to lecture the students on the latest industry trends.

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