The Indian automobile industry which is growing rapidly, is in need of candidates with sound knowledge of physics, systems, tools and the ability to apply themselves to real-life applications, said Dr Vijayakanthan Damodaran, engineering group manager (vehicle performance), General Motors Technical Centre, Bangalore.
Delivering the T S Santhanam Endowment lecture on the topic ‘Advances in Ground Vehicle Technology,’ at VIT University on Thursday, he said, “If the Indian auto industry has to meet the market expectations, the companies have to adopt advanced technologies that would provide maximum fuel efficiency, riding comfort, safety, reduced emission levels and maintenance cost,” he noted.
The companies were investing on new technologies such as direct injection and turbo charging to improve fuel economy and power train accessory development such as deceleration of fuel cut off and idle speed reduction. They are also focusing on reducing the drag by modifying the aerodynamics of the vehicles, Damodaran added.
Most car manufactures are already in the process of introducing artificial intelligence systems to stop the engine when idle or at traffic signals, to save fuel by at least 8 per cent. The regulated voltage control and brake energy regeneration systems would soon be available in new generation cars.
Further, Damodaran said, as the country had the highest accident rates in the world, ‘crash norms’ had come into force from this year. Child seats had already become compulsory in all cars. Full front crash protection, pedestrian protection and rear impact safety would become compulsory by next year. The emission norm levels of BS 4 would be implemented across the country while BS 5 would be introduced in 2015, followed by BS 6. The country should also come up with aerodynamic wind tunnels to test new generation vehicles, he added. He also predicted that hydrogen fuel cell technology would take over the Indian roads in the next 20 years.
Managing director of Wheels India Limited, Chennai, Srivats Ram, who was the chief guest on the occasion, narrated how his great-grandfather T V Sundaram Iyengar became an entrepreneur to build an industrial empire when he introduced bus services in Madurai in 1911. Even today, the TVS company established by him, stood for quality improvement culture, he added.
He urged the student community to keep their learning graph high. “Focus on improving human and emotional connection with colleagues and team members,” he told them.
VIT vice-chancellor Dr Raju said, a national centre for automotive research was being planned at VIT, in collaboration with like-minded universities and industries. Dr Senthil Kumar, director of SMBS welcomed the gathering.
The event was organized by the School of Mechanical and Building Sciences (SMBS), attached to VIT University.