Feeds

Satyam's mood-detecting motor to run in-car disco

Wanna social network on the backseat? I'm not in the mood

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Satyam has promised to settle arguments over what radio station to listen to in the car when it launches its dot auto platform next year.

The IT services company is using its background providing outsourced services for auto makers to develop its own software and hardware platforms which it will sell to auto suppliers and manufacturers.

Venkatesh Chandrasekaran, head of the company's automotive R&D centre, described its dot auto initiative as the equivalent of an internet domain for the cars. The strategy spans software and hardware which will offer in-car networking and other services.

Chandrasekaran said the platform would be voice-enabled, and allow drivers to access services, such as prepaying for petrol or drive-in food and drink. Naturally, it will feature GPS, and allow fleet owners to track their vehicles, while allowing consumers to find their way from one drive-in to another.

Like other in-car platforms, it would also offer access to emergency services. More esoteric features include "mood" detection, which will influence how the system controls other aspects of the in-car environment.

So, as Chandrasekaran put it, the system would detect if a driver had passengers and was heading downtown, and perhaps cue up some party music. On the other hand, if the driver is on his own, the system will not cue up "sad, moody music". Given the chaotic nature of driving in Indian cities, the system will presumably have a reassuring voice telling passengers, "Don't panic – have you actually seen an accident yet?"

Other likely features would be video conferencing and social networking. Cars have always been a social networking venue, so the mood music feature will also come in handy here.

Chandrasekaran said he expected the full system to be ready for marketing in 16 months, and said the company was already talking to likely customers. It would likely be sold in conjunction with a networking contract, most likely with a wireless broadband provider.

Telco providers apart, Chandrasekaran said the system would be set up to take advantage of whatever connectivity options were available, so it might use Wi-Fi connections if it could detect them, or use short distance connections to find a space in a suitably wired car park.

Even if the full system did not come to market, Chandrasekaran said its features would still find their way into vehicles.

After years of providing outsourced IT services to car makers, including designing and modelling their manufacturing processes, Satyam is looking to develop other off the shelf platforms it can sell to the auto industry.

India is in the process of becoming a car society, with Tata, the parent of Satyam rival TCS, launching the world's cheapest car at one end of the market, and buying up the Jaguar and Land Rover brands at the other.

But while Satyam plans to design the dot auto system down to the board level, and sell other technology packages to the auto trade, it said it doesn't have plans for a wholesale move into the manufacturing business.

Apart from the sheer aggravation of setting up factories, getting into manufacturing would put it in conflict with the very companies it has built it business around. "Satyam as a company we are not into the manufacturing business," said one exec. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.