Car Infotainment Trends for 2017 – Interview with Prathab D of Harman

Car Infotainment Trends for 2017

We got a chance to interact with Mr Prathab Deivanayagham who is the Senior Director – Connected Car, HARMAN International (India) Pvt. Ltd.   Mr Prathab shared his views and has addressed several important topics like global trends in infotainment systems, analysis of apps and connected services, aftermarket vs manufacture fitted infotainment systems, 2 Wheeler industry adopting the technology, evolution and future of the vehicle infotainment system in India.

Find below the full text of the interview with Mr Prathab Deivanayagham:

GaadiKey: What are some global trends in infotainment systems with respect to ICE, Connectivity and IP for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and 2 wheelers?

Prathab:  Infotainment as we know it, is on the brink of major evolution, given the progress of autonomous driving. Some of the passenger vehicle trends include:

  • Advance Driver Assist Safety features combined with 3D Navigation to enhance user safety,
  • Use of personalization features & voice based personal assistants to facilitate semi-autonomous driving with minimal driver distraction and seamless user experience

Connectivity to cloud and other types of Internet-based computing to help users improve their driving pattern and vehicle health, by predictive analysis of driving patterns, vehicle health and maintenance.
For commercial vehicles, telematics will be key differentiator in enhancing fleet management by helping fleet owners to minimize cost, monitor logistics and optimize vehicle usage and health.
For two wheelers, manufacturers across the globe have started adopting intelligent infotainment systems, which enhances safety on the move by providing safe connectivity, navigation and media experience for bike riders.


GaadiKey: What is your analysis Indian car market on following aspects on (1) Analysis of Apps and Connected Services, (2) Manufacturer fitted infotainment systems vs After market ? 

Prathab: On Analysis of Apps and Connected Service

Infotainment systems are well positioned to deliver several non-safety critical Connected Services & Apps such as Maps, Traffic, Concierge Services, Productivity Enhancing Solutions and Personal Digital Assistants (both voice and non-voice based), especially through tethered Smartphone and/or connected cloud.

India has a very rich App developer eco-system. With increased smartphones penetration , , we are seeing a wide variety of apps being downloaded and consumed through popular App Stores in India. Apple and Google have already got into the space of App integration with vehicles space through their Carplay and Android Auto technologies respectively. However, in automotive and infotainment world it is important to consider safety and user experience of using Apps inside the vehicle environment. Relevance of Apps and the user context are different for the driver and co-passengers. This will be one of the key factors for user adoption, depending on the vehicle ownership.
On Manufacturer fitted infotainment systems vs After market

OEM fitted infotainment take-up rates have traditionally being low, except for high-end offerings. But over the years, the take rates have increased to approximately 30%.

Majority of this has been with entry-level Bluetooth radios and only the higher segments are fitted with Navigation radios (AVN). Smartphone penetration and young generation car buyers who prefer to stay connected to their devices even on the move are changing this trend rapidly.. We are foreseeing Display Radios with 7” / 8” touch screens and smartphone connectivity being the next big leap of the infotainment industry.

This will also push the take rates of Infotainment to up to 50%+ in the next 3 – 5 yrs.

GaadiKey: How is infotainment system evolving in India? Whether customer is asking for it or Manufacturers are pushing for the same?

Prathab: We have observed a positive trend in this area and the role of a manufacturer is as important as a customer. Manufacturers attempt to provide market-first technologies to create a unique user experience for potential buyers. Users’ awareness is also increasing due to exposure to global trends through social media and automotive forums. Growth of the infotainment market in India is a combination of both.


GaadiKey: How is the Adoption of Infotainment systems happening in 2 Wheelers (referring to KTM Duke 390 latest that comes with Map Sync in dashboard)

Prathab: Given the high statistics of two-wheeler road accidents in India, intelligent infotainment systems with features such as connectivity and e-calls will help enhance driver safety. It would also facilitate improved rider-to-pillion communication and avoid distractions while riding.

Adopting these systems would also help analyze driving patterns, offer parental monitoring, last-mile navigation, shared trip communication, emergency calling as well as turn-by-turn navigation guidance.


GaadiKey: What is the future of vehicle infotainment system in India?

Prathab: Looking at how global trends have found their way into our market, the future looks very promising. OEM fitment rates will continue to improve, facilitated by the rapid penetration rates of Smartphone-connected touch screen systems. The government’s push for initiatives such as Smart Cities and the evolution of Internet of Things would also contribute to the growth immensely.

With proper safety regulations, enhanced product offerings can be made in the telematics space.

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Author: Chethan Thimmappa

I cover latest automobile news in India with special focus on cars and bikes. Please send me an email to for any enquiries. Follow me on twitter and facebook as well!

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