The internet-of-things (IoT) describes a world in which sencors are placed on machines and the resulting data is used to improve and track their performance. Earlier this year, the Indian government put out its first ever IoT policy document, that envisions creating a $15 billion IoT market in India by 2020 and the first steps towards that goal are already being taken both in the government and the private sector.
Tata Motors, the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the country , has begun putting sensors into its trucks and has built a service model – allowing owners of large fleets of trucks a greater degree of insight into how the vehicles are used and even predict potential breakdowns.
“You can monitor driver behaviour or fuel theft – so while the fuel level is constantly being monitored, any sudden move up or down is tracked. Sudden breaking can also be detected, so you can build algorithms inside the black box in the vehicle or you can build that as part of your system, which makes sense of this data,” Jagdish Belwal, chief information officer at Tata Motors, told ET. The company also has a large analytics team that will crunch the data from the vehicles to present to its customers.
Even as commercial vehicle manufacturers look at providing data to their customers, insurance companies are getting on board to use similar data sets to help set better premiums. “We use telematics with a few corporate clients in order to save money on policies, so transportation risks are covered. We put these devices on trucks to map the routes, to see whether there is pilferage, stoppage,” Girish Nayak, chief – service, operations and technology with insurer ICICI Lombard, said. The telematics programme is live with a couple of customers, he added.
While the cost of the device and sensors makes a similar program for motor insurance, even consumer companies are looking at adding a greater degree of intelligence in their products. “We have products with sensor-based locks, lights and can send alarms, so things which are more affordable but far more intelligent.The movement is now towards these products,” Mehernosh Pithawalla – associate vice president & head, marketing at Godrej Security Solutions, said. “We are going to see this trend continuing and in fact intensify. In the next two years, at least 50% of our products will have some kind of intelligence,” Godrej Security Solutions already sells safes that can send messages when they are in the process of being breached and sensor-based alarm systems that can be accessed through a mobile-phone app that detects an entry into your apartment and allows you talk to the intruder through the alarm.
Even the government, not greatly known for its use of innovative technology, has taken to the technology to better regulate the transport of materials from mines. The Karnataka state government and the Goa State government are using IoT-based systems to clamp down on the illegal sale and transport of sand and iron-ore respectively.