View from India: And the award goes to…

It’s a known fact that when technology becomes disruptive, it unsettles many settled platforms before things are straightened out. A case in point is Google: from being a search engine it has morphed into self-driven cars. The journey is complete with a few tweaks, algorithms and cloud support, among others. Apple on its part is disrupting categories year on year using the iOS platform.

Vehicle Infotainment

It may take many disruptive technologies to help make omelettes in the car, but the next generation of vehicles in India is shifting gears and moving towards the infotainment platform. That’s because vehicle trends point to a paradigm shift in consumer requirements from styling and horsepower to infotainment. All this and more was revealed at the 13th edition of NIDays. 

Take the case of Jaguar Land Rover, India. The company has used NI’s zero downtime scalable, sustainable test solutions to automate and conduct audio-video analysis. 

In future, algorithms, cloud and platform-based approaches will be responsible for the exponential progress of vehicle infotainment. Besides smart devices and apps, the manner in which vehicles communicate with the control system is another determining factor for success. “Vehicle infotainment requires signals to synchronise everything connected to it including FM, Bluetooth and mobile phone calls, along with GPS validation,” explained Ajit Gokhale, senior VP global marketing at National Instruments.

Besides infotainment, vehicles – especially the smaller ones – will become smarter. They will begin to simulate different environments through radio frequency, which will help detect signals and roadblocks on-the-go. Smarter test systems with a common testing framework from cloud to embedded systems will be required to execute the simulation. Radar is expected to play a key role in navigation.

Movers and Shakers

The event celebrated the winners of the annual student design contest NIYantra 2016. Though over 950 teams participated, 18 teams made it to the finals this year. This contest, held over six months, helps the undergraduate engineers design their project ideas and translate them into working models.

The most interesting award-winning work in this category is an innovative path detector designed for the visually challenged. This tool has been integrated with sensors that help detect obstacles on the road. It will alert the user and divert him/her from the obstacle. A student from Sri Eshwar College of Engineering, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, is credited for conceptualising it.

Another noteworthy creation is a structural health monitoring system from CSIR-NAL, a leading Indian aerospace R&D institution based in Bangalore. This is an award-winning work in the technical application contest titled Engineering Impact Awards which saw the participation of 40 teams. The winners got a chance to participate in the Global Engineering Impact Awards held in Austin, Texas.

CSIR-NAL’s structural health monitoring system made it to the 'Systems Category.' This novel system has been designed to detect damage in aircraft composite structures. LabVIEW was used to develop software tools Sync VIEW and Diagnose VIEW. 

Future Forward

The future points to the world of 5G, which predictably will allow higher number of mobile broadband users per area unit. Consumers will have high-quality streaming media on their mobiles. 5G also aims to lower battery consumption.

Looking ahead, the relationship between customers and vendors will become more collaborative through a platform-based approach.

Automated measurements and endurance testing will be the hallmarks of the world of discovery.

Coming to the world of farming, robotic automated tools will perform many tasks in our agricultural fields.

In times to come one hopes that the 787 Dreamliner become one of the quietest airliners in the skies. Now, that requires something really disruptive.


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