Nachiketa Paranjpe, President - Automotive Sales, Tata Technologies, believes that the changes underway in the automotive industry will translate into huge opportunities going forward.
This is because every new technology or feature that needs to be integrated into the vehicle requires specialised skills, he told Mobility Outlook. For vehicle manufacturers, maintaining various software and vehicle configurations, hardware and software combination or the entire database of updated software is a challenge.
Tata Technologies can help OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in adapting to new age technologies but this means it needs to be ahead of the curve and at the cusp of tech changes. According to Paranjpe, updating workforce skills becomes critical and this is where a nuanced approach is essential. Here is where Tata TechVarsity offers upskilling and cross-skilling learning paths with its e-learning modules, accreditation support and workshops on latest technologies.
The internal tech university uses a proprietary tool called ‘IGetIt’ to maintain the content database for education and keep the database updated. The idea is to help students focus on self-learning and avoid unnecessary pitfalls. While the ‘TechVarsity’ initiative is limited to India, the company has collaborated with universities for joint courses overseas. Beyond this, it ensures that employees have the right mental attitude to learn new things.
Tata Technologies also works closely with leading customers to stay abreast of technology changes. Paranjpe said this was essential especially when today’s modern age customers are technically proficient.
It is in this backdrop that a global buyer base has also come in handy when it comes to understanding the pace of change. The company has 70 R&D centres across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific which have specific approaches in meeting technological challenges. For instance, distances are more in North America which means trucks and SUVs rule the roost.
This, in turn, has led to greater use of hydrogen and this becomes a useful marketing input to Tata Technologies. Europe, on the other hand, is focused on electrification while Asia-Pacific is more about newer and exciting technologies for the vehicle’s cockpit. Paranjpe said all three regions have different emerging trends which will overlap at some point in time which is “when we will benefit from working with these varied customers across the globe”.
Tata Technologies has also become part of the AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) consortium created in 2003 and intended to develop an open and standardised software architecture for automotive electronic control units.
Scalability of vehicle and platform variants, software transferability, consideration of availability and safety needs, collaboration among various partners, sustainable use of natural resources, and maintainability throughout the product lifecycle are among the goals of the consortium.
Paranjpe said by being a premium member, Tata Technologies is able to have a better perspective of the roadmap articulated by AUTOSAR. Engineers in the consortium try out new proof of concepts and understand various upcoming trends like cybersecurity in terms of basic software stack and diagnostics. This helps the company understand how the stack will evolve.
“With this, Tata Technologies has a sort of a look-into-the-future of what skills are needed to improve stack configuration and integration. This way, we are always aware of the upcoming latest trends in AUTOSAR versions,” said Paranjpe.