Realizing India’s Electric Dream


Leveraging Platform. Empowering Players & Providers. Enabling Partnerships

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R R Dasgupta

Chief Digital Advisor – Automotive & Mobility at Microsoft India. 
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Tara Prakriya 
General Manager and Co-Head of Azure IoT Mobility group at Microsoft- Redmond. 

The automotive industry is experiencing unprecedented tech-intensity

The automotive industry is facing a wave of unprecedented opportunity. New technology and services are opening doors to innovative business models and processes that disrupt and transform the entire automotive ecosystem. To capitalize on the promise of new roles and revenue streams, improved productivity, and deeper customer relationships, legacy automotive players and new entrants alike will need to embark on digital transformations.

Automotive digital transformation refers to the process of connecting products, customer insights, business operations and employee tools the way software companies do, by integrating innovative technologies such as cloud, internet of things (IoT), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and cognitive services (CS). Such transformation is critical if companies are to effectively compete in the next phase of mobility. The opportunity is to reduce capital and operational expenses, drive industry 4.0, digital retail opportunities, and new revenue streams. Above all this kind of tech-intensity can bring together an ecosystem of players and providers, engender partnerships through a sustainable platform for the mobility industry. 

Consumers are progressively choosing convenient, cost-effective, on-demand mobility services like carsharing, ride-hailing, and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS). These shared mobility business models are challenging the status quo by providing viable alternatives to personal vehicle ownership. Furthermore, automakers are increasingly confronted with direct competition from other ecosystem participants who are taking on similar roles in rental, leasing, transporting, and vending. The digital transformation process underscoring this transformation is time-consuming, resource-intensive, and incremental. What the industry needs are trusted partners and platforms that will help instill superior technology processes while guiding them through this foundational overhaul

Transforming mobility Experiences 

The next phase of transportation will be defined by connected vehicles and smart mobility services. In-vehicle connectivity is reshaping consumer experiences and expectations of mobility. Drivers desire customized features that remain consistent between applications, vehicles, and across multiple points of contact with an automotive brand. Frost & Sullivan predicts that 65% of newly sold vehicles will be equipped with connectivity services by 2020. Using cloud technology, connected vehicles offer highly engaging, personalized driving experiences. Connectivity also enables smart mobility services that support new business models and revenue streams.                                                                                                                                                                

These services leverage IoT technologies that collect, analyze, and interpret data in real-time, helping improve services, user experience, and design processes. When vehicles are integrated with scalable, secure and flexible cloud platform architecture, service providers can launch geo-enabled services with ease. These applications are actively changing the urban mobility landscape with shared, intelligent transit modalities. Perhaps the most disruptive mobility experiences are enabled by autonomous

India is embracing a new future through electric mobility

The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 is one of the most important and ambitious initiatives undertaken by the Government of India that has the potential to bring about transformative shifts  in the automotive and transportation industry in the country. It includes levers such as:  

  1. Demand side incentives to facilitate acquisition of hybrid/electric vehicles
  2. Promoting R&D in technology including battery technology, power electronics, motors, systems integration, battery management system, testing infrastructure, and ensuring industry participation in the same
  3. Promoting charging infrastructure
  4. Supply side incentives
  5. Encouraging retro-fitment of on-road vehicles with hybrid kit
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The Government of India has been intentional in implementing e-mobility in India, and very recently the Finance Ministry has approved a Niti Ayog plan to subsidize manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and mobile phones. The Expenditure Finance Committee under the Ministry has given an approval for the Think Tank’s plan for creating a 50 GWh (Giga-Watt-Hours) battery capacity in India entailing an investment of Rs. 700 crores. Conservative estimates show that India would need 600 GWh for 10 years starting 2020. Once battery manufacturing picks up pace in the country, the government believes it will be possible to bring down the cost of these batteries to $76, or about Rs 5,450, per kilowatt hour (kWh) from $276, or about Rs 19,800, per kWh, the official said. This is expected to bring down the cost of electric vehicles to make it almost on a par with combustion engine cars in the next 3-4 years (Source : )

Under the FAME 2 (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) Scheme, the government has announced an outlay of ₹10,000 crore for FAME 2 to boost the number of electric vehicles in India. ₹1,000 crore has been earmarked for setting up charging stations for electric vehicles in India. (Source:

Add to this, the Automotive Industry Standard 140 (AIS 140) which is a set of standards published by ARAI (Automotive) for vehicle tracking system, camera surveillance system, and emergency request button.

Our view is that to bring all of these bold initiatives together to create sustainable outcomes, India needs to embrace a technology platform that can help her execute on the mission of e-mobility, engage customers in innovative ways that make a difference to their life and work, empower the multiple ecosystem players and providers and create new partnerships that will underpin the realization of India’s electric dream   

Microsoft is enabling Smart Mobility Services 

Digitization leads to new revenue streams and opportunities through smart transportation. Smart mobility services are disrupting the way people, goods, and fleets move. These mobility services leverage cloud and IoT technology to provide superior fleet management capabilities. Fleet managers can better optimize loads, improve fuel economy, predict maintenance issues, and reduce vehicle downtime. Services using geofencing such as carsharing and subscription-based car services can more accurately track and manage vehicles. Service providers using cloud and IoT can collect, analyze, and interpret data in real-time. Using this data improves user interfaces and experiences, while identifying flaws faster. 

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Microsoft enables greater efficiency and reliability with Azure IoT and location intelligence services (Our partnership with Tom Tom and Moovit with Azure Maps) . Azure IoT transportation solutions are built on the Azure cloud platform, using both the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform and Azure Maps, and track, manage and monitor connected vehicles in real-time. The Azure platform collects performance information of vehicles and stores it in the cloud. This information can be displayed as a dashboard, giving fleet managers a detailed view of fault-events, fuel/ battery efficiency, and safety reports. Partners can also roll out over-the-air firmware updates control modules through Azure. Azure Maps integrate geospatial service APIs into fleet management solutions for real time, route optimization, traffic simulation and location intelligence. 

Partners can use Azure Maps’ real-time intelligence to monitor, anticipate and manage urban events, from traffic congestion and flooding, to utility optimization and construction. This will aid in smarter city planning and improved transit solutions. Clients are regularly innovating new use cases. Partners and collaborators across adjacent industries have derived value from these services, such as insurance companies that can now more accurately price policies, and retailers that can now introduce new in-vehicle commerce channels.

Additionally, services for reducing range anxiety through electric grid monitoring and insights helps optimize both the Vehicle and Infrastructure (V2I)

For Electric Fleet Owners the needle must shift to better asset utilization, ensuring predictability in performance and impacting the mobility experience of the end consumer in a way that she wants to come back for more.

Microsoft’s Connected Mobility Platform is driving trust and impact globally

Microsoft supports automotive organizations in their digital transformational journey by providing leading-edge infrastructure, platforms and services to help them create a sustainable mobility ecosystem, leveraging the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform

A range of customer success stories indicate the potential of Microsoft solutions and business outcomes across different phases of the automotive value chain.

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Figure 1: Microsoft’s Key Engagements in Automotive

The guiding tenets of our Approach

Flexibility and control Through our discussion with incumbents in the automotive space, we’ve learned that flexibility and control are essential. With that in mind, the platform is not an in-vehicle operating system or a finished product—it is a living, agile platform that supports and enables automakers’ unique offerings. Using our platform as a starting point, OEMs can work with SIs to build custom solutions tailored to their goals.  


OEMs are free to use hardware and software from their preferred providers, integrate with preexisting solutions, and add in specialized third-party capabilities in areas like in-vehicle security. As an example, let’s say an OEM wants to use an existing navigation solution, or wants to develop one with another technology vendor—the platform supports both of those options. In other words, the platform gives firms the freedom to use whatever services, components, and capabilities are best for them.  

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Support for ongoing technology evolution 

The platform is designed to incorporate the latest technologies as they develop, ensuring that connected vehicle solutions stay up-to-date. For example, as 5G communications and V2X technologies become widespread, the platform will support that evolution. 


Today, an OEM may have multiple solutions in market that are differentiated by region, brands, and model years, leading to mounting operational costs and complexity as these solutions are maintained. Microsoft’s platform can address this by integrating with and unifying existing solutions, simplifying operations, and enabling new capabilities and scenarios

Microsoft is working with Renault-Nissan to pioneer the next generation of connected car services. 

“Today we are deploying a vehicle connectivity platform that will transform the digital experience for customers of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi. Through our collaboration with Microsoft, we are introducing the most powerful and far reaching connected vehicle platform. Leveraging the size and scale of the Alliance, we have built an intelligent cloud platform that sets the pace for our industry,”   – Kal Mos, Global Vice President of Alliance Connected Vehicles at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi 

Trusted partnership 

Microsoft is not looking to get into the business of making automobiles. Our strategy is to complement automotive firms and not to compete with them. OEMs retain full ownership and control of their data and their brand

Security, Compliance and Privacy 

Security, compliance and privacy are imperative for connected vehicle solutions. Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure is resilient to attack, protects access, and helps keep data secure at every step of the way. With more certifications than any other cloud provider, Microsoft’s cloud meets a broad set of international standards and compliance requirements. This ensures solutions can scale globally, from Europe to China to North America and beyond. Microsoft is fully committed to protecting the privacy of customer information. OEMs and suppliers own their data and maintain full control over any offerings built on the Microsoft platform.  

We are excited about the future of mobility in India and are committed to partner with OEMs. players, provider, partners and the Government of India to realize India’s electric dream

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