March 7, 2011


The CLOUD above your car

Being connected all the time is more of a necessity than an urge today. Life changes every minute, every second. In this fast changing world of thoughts/ communication, the information puzzle is too tempting to resist!

A common man for example, spends 60 minutes a day on the road, in the car. If these 60 minutes can be spent in getting latest update from twitter, sending voice based SMS, listening to emails, getting traffic updates, why would one not want to ride a car all the time. If the “Connection” can be combined with some “good to the environment”, “subscription based business model” and “connectivity though vehicle/ smartphone” nothing like it!

Though all this may look cloudy (hazy) at this point of time, but the fact is the “Cloud” above us would help us achieve the dream of getting connected while in CAR

Read on to understand how Cloud will change the way you drive


Electric vehicle owners can have access to information on the nearest charging stations; monitor charge levels and plan their trips. The owners of a particular brand of cars would be able to compare their fuel efficiencies; connected through cloud. It would be similar to “Green Leaves” in Ford’s smart gauge, which is basically an indication of the driver’s style of driving; more leaves mean greener, more efficient driving. Rapid acceleration and hard braking would cause leaves to drop from the vines!


Once connected drivers can have up to date information on weather, traffic, point of interests and location based service content. The drivers will have access to information on road blocks/ traffic and accidents. The information is basically transmitted from one vehicle to another. The drivers will also be able to understand the safe and economical route to their destinations.

Incentives/ Benefits

The car owners (if they allow the car emission to be monitored) may get certain incentives from the government for economical driving, for causing less pollution!

Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology (under investigation)

“Electric-drive vehicles, whether powered by batteries, fuel cells, or gasoline hybrids, have within them the energy source and power electronics capable of producing the 60 Hz AC electricity that powers our homes and offices. When connections are added to allow this electricity to flow from cars to power lines, we call it "vehicle to grid" power, or V2G. Cars pack a lot of power. One typical electric-drive vehicle can put out over 10kW, the average draw of 10 houses. The key to realizing economic value from V2G is precise timing of its grid power production to fit within driving requirements while meeting the time-critical power "dispatch" of the electric distribution system.” Since most vehicles are parked an average of 95 percent of the time, their batteries could be used to let electricity flow from the car to the power lines and back. Owners can get information on charge in their vehicles and the power put back to the grid.


The cloud would make the onboard data base residing in the car completely obsolete in a few years from now. Cloud based services would let users customize their preferences. Android, connecting to app stores, Wi-Fi, would be in- CAR and Smart phones would start communicating with your CAR!

The painful truth is that the infotainment system will have to keep pace with the changes happening in the Consumer electronics industry. The connectivity/ portability and the usability have to be thought through!

Minimizing Driver Distraction

Thought the cloud would bring a revolution in the automotive Industry, it is also true that in a few years time Driver Distraction would be one of the biggest issues. Governments will impose stringent rules on the OEMs.

One way to reduce the driver distraction is to provide minimum options to the driver (while the passengers would have unlimited connectivity). Human Machine Interface (HMI)will also be of importance as they would decide the eye dwell time on Mobile Apps!

HCL - Technology that touches lives (in car)!

User experience is the foremost focus of HCL Engineering services.All services are aimed at providing total passenger experience. HCL is continuously investing in tools, technology, alliances and resources that would help in enhancing the driving experience.

HCL Automotive vertical highlights include-

  • Agora- HCL solution for metering, billing and monitoring for software provided as a service
  • Standard operating systems - Android, Microsoft, QNX and other open source OS
  • Support OEMs in connecting the car to app stores
  • Wireless solutions
  • Significant investments in CoE- Android and HMI
  • Alliance with Genivi, a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) reference platform
  • Investment in solutions in the infotainment space
  • Leveraging expertise and experience from adjacent verticals such as Consumer Electronics

I have possibly mentioned only the tip of the ice berg, the cloud as a companion, definitely has a lot in store for you and me. The “cloud” would virtually bring the whole world inside your car and people would tell each other “Happy clouding”!