Extracts from an interview conducted by Voice&Data with Rajesh Uppal, Chief General Manager, IT & CIO, Maruti Suzuki India:
What has been the development in India when we talk about Telematics?
We are still at a nascent stage. It has still to be complemented by road infrastructure and an upgraded technology that can be availed on the move.
On road, we have more than 6,000 car carriers. We have already effectively installed GPS for location based services, and GPRS for transmitting information. Location based services have immensely helped our dealers, as they can track the carriages while on the move. In the technology frame, they are somewhat similar to the innovative vehicle tracking system.
How are you utilizing telecom and ICT in facilitating connectivity within your organization?
Maruti Suzuki is a Rs 24,000 crore company. We sell one in every two cars on Indian roads, and has dominated the market for nearly thirty years. Maruti Suzuki has more than 900 outlets and thirty-two offices in the country.
We have a huge supplier and dealer base, to connect them we use a very reliable backbone of telecom infrastructure. They are connected with a centralized data center at the Gurgaon plant. They work on a central server and connected via leased lines. There is different service provider’s s for different areas of operations.
Dealers and suppliers also connect via VPN connectivity to extranet applications and our critical business runs on them. We are evaluating various communication technologies for conferencing solutions and will be implementing it later.
What are the various car2car implementations that have been made by the company?
As I said, there is still a big scope to improve our technology infrastructure wise before we discuss any high end deployments. Nonetheless, c2c applications are a tried and tested way of providing security. We have an interesting application in c2c in which if one’s car crashes, an air bag opens up for protecting the consumer and also a quick alert is sent to the police and other support for immediate help.