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The digital revolution has turned our vehicles into intelligent hubs: Santhosh TG, CDO, Switch Mobility

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In the fast-evolving realm of Electric Vehicles (EVs), Switch Mobility is leading the charge with a transformative digital agenda. From redefining vehicles as Intelligent, Software-Defined entities to harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in telematics and beyond, the company is shaping a future where every commute becomes a symphony of data, efficiency, and innovation. We spoke with Santhosh TG, CDO, Switch Mobility, who gives us a comprehensive overview into the company’s future and tells us how Switch Mobility sees its electric vehicles not merely as modes of transportation but as Intelligent Electric Vehicles (IeVs) that contribute to a smarter and more sustainable future

Some edited excerpts:

Can you share some of the recent important digital or technology initiatives that your company has undertaken and their impact?
At Switch Mobility, we firmly believe that digital transformation is not just a choice but a necessity in the rapidly evolving landscape of the Electric Vehicle industry. Aligned with the latest advancements, we view our vehicles not merely as means of transportation but as Intelligent, Software-Defined (SD) entities. The nomenclature of our products as ‘EiV’ (Electric Intelligent Vehicle) and ‘IeV’ (Intelligent Electric Vehicle) underscores our emphasis on intelligence. This goes beyond the vehicle’s electrification; it encompasses the integration of cutting-edge digital technologies that make our vehicles intelligent entities contributing to a smarter and more sustainable future. Buses, once carriers of people, are now passengers themselves, riding the waves of computational power. The digital revolution has turned our vehicles into intelligent hubs, where every commute becomes a symphony of data, efficiency, and innovation.

In an era where Software-Defined Local Area Networks (SD LAN) and Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD WAN) have become integral to efficient connectivity, our vehicles are no exception. We have embraced the concept of Software-Defined vehicles, which entails integrating intelligent software solutions into every aspect of our electric vehicles’ operations. By doing so, we ensure that our vehicles are not only smart but also adaptable and responsive to changing demands and conditions on the road.

Our commitment to digitalization is reflected in the development of a robust telematics platform. This platform captures over 120+ performance parameters related to Motor, Battery, HVAC, and VCU, generating 80+ key performance indicators (KPIs) such as Distance to Empty (DTE) and State of Health (SOH). The real-time data is seamlessly pushed to the cloud every 6 seconds, with intelligent edge computing enhancing efficiency. This system is closely monitored by our Command Control Center at all depots, ensuring optimal performance. This data-driven approach is not just about monitoring; it’s about gaining actionable insights to enhance the efficiency, reliability, and overall performance of our electric vehicles. One key advantage that Switch Mobility brings to the table is the invaluable experience of our parent company, Ashok Leyland, in running similar analytics on over 150,000 internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This extensive experience has uniquely positioned us with in-house expertise, particularly in the seamless transmission of data from telematics devices.

Our focus on product development and design is paramount. The Information Technology team has played a crucial role in establishing a robust cloud platform for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) in the western region. This initiative has not only facilitated a smoother workflow but has also supported a hybrid work culture, significantly improving employee morale. The elimination of the traditional restrictions on accessing large CAD drawings within the physical enterprise network has been a game-changer.

Further, Switch Mobility has embraced SAP to ensure compliance and strengthen processes. While SAP implementation can be a significant investment for any startup, we recognize its importance in upholding the standards set by the Hinduja Group. This strategic move demonstrates our commitment to robust governance and operational excellence.

Cloud adoption has become a cornerstone of modern IT infrastructure. How has your firm approached cloud adoption to improve agility, scalability, and cost efficiency?
We understand the pivotal role cloud adoption plays in modernizing IT infrastructure, and we have strategically approached this transition to enhance agility, scalability, and cost efficiency. In the context of our unique circumstances as a COVID-born organization, ensuring 100% availability of collaboration and communication platforms has been of utmost importance.

As a geographically dispersed team, our adoption of enterprise cloud platforms has played a crucial role in maintaining seamless connectivity among our team members. The cloud-based communication infrastructure has been instrumental in fostering collaboration, ensuring that our employees stay connected, irrespective of their geographical locations. This has not only contributed to a more agile and responsive work environment but has also played a significant role in supporting the continuity of operations during the challenging times of the pandemic.

Recognizing the importance of customer interaction, we strategically deploy all customer-facing applications on the cloud. This approach not only enhances the scalability and reliability of these applications but also ensures that our customers have a consistent and reliable experience. The cloud-based deployment of these applications aligns with our commitment to providing a safe, efficient, and accessible environment for both our team members and customers.

In essence, our approach to cloud adoption is a holistic strategy that not only addresses the core principles of agility, scalability, and cost efficiency but is also tailored to the unique needs ensuring uninterrupted collaboration and reliable customer interactions.

AI has the potential to transform various industries. How is your company exploring the use of AI to enhance its services, streamline processes, or drive innovation?
One key area where AI is making a significant impact is our telematics platform. By harnessing the capabilities of AI, we can analyze vast amounts of real-time data generated by our vehicles. This not only allows us to monitor and optimize performance but also enables predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and enhancing overall reliability. The integration of AI-driven analytics into our telematics platform adds a layer of intelligence that contributes to the longevity and efficiency of our vehicles.

In the realm of product development and design, AI is becoming a creative partner in our journey. We use a lot of AI algorithms for analysing design data and identifying patterns, supporting us in developing innovative features for our vehicles. For example, AI is instrumental in the development of an intelligent energy management system that optimizes the use of electric power, enhancing overall energy efficiency and extending the range of our electric vehicles.

Moreover, our ongoing exploration of AI extends to the development of a mobile application for our end customers. In its developmental phase, this app will harness AI-driven features to provide a personalized user experience. Features such as real-time insights into vehicle performance, predictive maintenance alerts, and tailored recommendations for optimal energy usage will be integral to enhancing the overall customer experience.

As we delve deeper into the possibilities of AI, our commitment is to seamlessly integrate this technology across various facets of our operations. Whether optimizing fleet management, improving energy efficiency, or refining customer interactions, AI is a driving force behind our dedication to innovation and sustainability.

In the next six months to one year, what are some of the new digital or technology initiatives planned?
In the upcoming six months to one year, Switch Mobility is gearing up for an array of dynamic digital and technology initiatives designed to elevate our offerings. In this modern epic, the verse ‘Adapt like the water that shapes its container’ beautifully encapsulates our era. Just as water molds itself to the vessel it occupies, technology has seamlessly integrated with the transportation experience.

A key focus will be the development and enhancement of a dedicated mobile application for our Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV). This app will empower users with real-time insights into vehicle performance, personalized recommendations for optimal usage, and a seamless interface for an enhanced user experience. Furthermore, in line with our commitment to global accessibility, we are in the process of introducing an ecommerce portal. This platform will cater to a global audience, providing users with convenient access to essential services, spare parts, and updates. The portal aims to streamline post-purchase support and enhance the overall ownership experience for our customers around the world. We are also actively exploring Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) capabilities for our evolving product line.

With all these new technologies, recognizing the paramount importance of cybersecurity in our interconnected ecosystem, we are implementing robust measures to safeguard our systems, data, and user privacy. These measures will include regular security audits and ongoing efforts to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats. Our commitment is to ensure that our digital infrastructure remains resilient and secure, providing peace of mind to our users.

As we embark on these initiatives, our vision is not just technological evolution but a harmonious integration of digital advancements inspired by the enduring wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita. We understand that, like the river that adapts its course, our approach must remain fluid and responsive to the evolving landscape of electric mobility and technological innovation.

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