India has missed many opportunities since it was a major center of trade and became one of the poorest countries in the world. It is now a fast-growing economy, but its potential has been lost. With a greater focus on Make in India, India is now trying to seize such opportunities with breakthrough potential and great value innovation within the macro-economic climate. With the global shift in mobility, India’s next chance to make a mark on the international market is in automotive and transportation.
India has 13 of the 20 cities with the highest pollution levels in the world. India imports around 200 million tonnes of crude oil per year, which is equivalent to 80 percent of its national oil demand and one-third of the total import bill. New Delhi has around 556 motor cars per 1,000 people, while national numbers are 120 per 1000.
In 2017-18, India produced around 3 million vehicles. In 2005-06, buses accounted for 1.2 percent of all cars in the NCR region. They accounted for about 60% of travel demand. The energy consumption per passenger km in a car is between 1870-2340 KJ/PKm. However, the energy consumption is 215 KJ/PKm for a BRTS AC Bus and 85-87KJ/PKm for Delhi Metro.
The cost of road congestion in India is $20 billion per year. In the next ten years, India’s urban population is expected to double and reach 600 million people. This will result in 500 million trips per day. India must fix all the problems, from air pollution to safety to oil import bills to congestion to public transportation, energy generation, Infrastructure, and logistics. India will have a great opportunity to be a technology supplier and solution provider for many emerging and mature markets if it can solve these problems.
Solutions from the West
ACES is a technology that governments and automakers around the world have embraced. Autonomous, connected, shared, and electric vehicles. The automotive industry is moving towards cleaner and greener energy sources. With the introduction of electric technologies will come additional renewable sources of energy.
The next trend will be to share. This will include optimizing the passenger seat as well as the logistics, enabling a fleet model operation as a solution for mobility. The connected Infrastructure will bridge communication gaps between machines, whether it is between vehicles or between a car with Infrastructure. Autonomous cars will also eliminate human error and human dependency.
In the future, mobility will not be viewed as just a means of transporting people and goods but as a type of service. Cities will become smart hubs, where each locomotion issue will be solved by a cheap, safe, environmentally friendly, point-to-point solution.
What India needs to do
The real question is, what can India do to solve its problems and become a technology and solution provider for the rest of the world? Issues in the Indian transportation and logistics segment require a new approach.
We classify it under IMPM, i.e., Infrastructure is the base, manufacturing is a value, and public transportation is a product. Mobility, a service. The first step is to restructure the intra-city integration of multimodal transport. The city’s mass transit options, such as the train, metro, bus, and 2&3-wheelers (motorized or non-motorized), must be linked to passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, as well as 2&3-wheelers. This should include good Infrastructure for changing cars as well as parking. The scale of these connections will be a key factor in optimizing traffic and reach. The second requirement is to manufacture in India.
Battery seems to be the future with the change in energy generation technologies. India lacks the raw materials (which account for about 15-20% in the value of a car), but if it can capture the expertise in component manufacturing (40-45% in the value of a vehicle) and assembly (30-35% in the value of a car), then the country could lower its dependence on oil and invest in renewable energy portfolios, as well as create opportunities for monopolistic trade.
The third requirement is to introduce public transport vehicles that are connected at the root and have a planned schedule. Around 80 percent of Indians only travel 5 km per day. An affordable, well-connected, and fast intra-city & inter-city transportation network would be beneficial to the energy consumption per passenger per kilometer.
When all of this is combined, you get an ecosystem that offers mobility as a service. Indian cities will be smarter with multiple services available in every corner of the well-connected space. This will lead to economic and sustainable development.