Telematics Wire got into a conversation with Urmil Shah, Co founder of Carnot Technologies. In the interview Urmil talks about connected car market in India and about the impact of policies of the Government of India.
TW: India has seen a rise in the number of startups in the field of OBD port devices, fleet management and cloud-based analytics.What makes Carnot stand out among all these. Tell us more about the technology being used.
Urmil: Honestly we wish there were more companies in the connected cars space. That would help increase the awareness in the market and improve the adoption of connected cars among consumers and enterprises. Having said that, our product is unique in that every stack has been developed by us indigenously – right from the hardware to the firmware, backend cloud infra and mobile apps. This gives us agility and adaptability, critical to servicing the range of applications in automotive IOT. Further, we’ve have developed proprietary and low cost technology that enables our product to give rich performance insights for not only cars, but also bikes, trucks, tractors and buses. We have also filed patents for the same.
TW: There have been concerns regarding automotive cyber security. Recently NHTSA had suggested limiting the access to third parties. What would you say to allay these fears and how does Carnot deals with it?
Urmil: Automotive cyber security has been a concern for a long time. To keep all our data secure, we are using SSL encryption for data transmission, that is bank grade security. From an end consumer point of view, data security is critical as no one wants their data to be shared with third parties without consent. Building consumer confidence will help widespread adoption of connected car solutions.
TW: An entire economy is being envisaged built around the data to be generated by the cars in future. Your comments on it with your views on data ownership
Urmil: Data ownership has been an ongoing debate with the entire app and mobile ecosystem. The same rules will apply to the connected cars space. Data ownership will and should rest with the consumer and if auto ecosystem players find strong ways to help improve customer experience, much like mobile apps have, customers will willingly share the data.
TW: Your comments on NGTP?
Urmil: To realise the full benefits of connected cars, it will be important to create an open ecosystem on which all auto players can interact with a customer regardless of the make or model of the car or telecom service provider they use. While car manufacturers build their own telematics platform, it will be important to maintain standards to ensure interoperability.
TW: How do you see the role being played by the present government? How have its policies impacted the startup ecosystem in India?
Urmil: I think the Startup India program is a great move. Part of executing a successful movement is to brand it as one and I think the Modi government has done that well. The government has been successful in bringing about a mindset change by making start ups a household conversation. We now have a lot more youngsters eager to start their own ventures or join an up and coming startup. When you have hundreds of thousands of young minds thinking of ways in which they can build disruptive products, innovation is bound to occur. On the question of policy, yes various measures have been announced – SIDBI Fund of Funds, abolition of angel tax, innovative startups being relieved of the tax burden etc. But the true impact of these policies will only be realised over the next few years. One has to be patient for the impact of policy to percolate through to the grassroots.