Bangalore-based Mahindra REVA is a pioneer of electric vehicle technologies and one of the most experienced electric vehicle manufacturers in the world. After coming up with the concept for a new breed of 'connected' car--enabling owners and service teams to remotely access various features and functions of their vehicle--it needed to find a reliable way to deliver data connectivity to vehicles across India and around the world.."
Vodafone has helped Mahindra REVA make its vision a reality--providing secure managed connectivity between the cars via its Machine-to-Machine network.
"Overall it was a great example of collaborative working between two companies with a similar vision of global innovation," Kartik Gopal, general manager-Mobility Solutions and Business Development, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles.
Having set out its strategy, there was still a lot of work for Mahindra REVA to do. Even in an era of ubiquitous communication, cars have so far remained relatively untouched by the rapid advancements in communication and information technologies. Delivering the data reliably, securely and with the desired performance over mobile networks under diverse conditions and also managing the connectivity of large numbers of vehicles as volumes grow required a partner with expertise in M2M communications.
"M2M is a really exciting area right now," says Gopal. "It has the ability to transform cars into intelligent devices that exchange real-time information and open up a range of groundbreaking new services for customers--especially the ability to monitor and control the car functions remotely."
So when Gopal and his team started their search for an M2M partner they had three main criteria. Firstly, they wanted to find a company that understood the strategy and vision for M2M and the possibilities that it can open up.
Secondly, they wanted to make sure that the partner could provide reliable connections across India. "There is little point introducing this kind of concept if it's going to be let down by connectivity," says Gopal.
Lastly, they also preferred a M2M partner with a global footprint to ease the launch of the car in other international markets.
After researching the market, Mahindra REVA quickly realized that Vodafone would be the perfect partner for its new venture.
According to Gopal, it was an easy decision to make.
"Vodafone was the only network provider we spoke to that demonstrated that it had a long term vision and roadmap for M2M," he confirms. "Vodafone has its own dedicated M2M service platform in India--something which is unique--and because Vodafone is such a strong global operator we could also see that we were going to get both the domestic and international network coverage that we wanted."
After this selection process Vodafone advanced the project almost from its outset.
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