“There is an urgent need to design India-specific vehicles and products to drive growth of Indian automotive industry” said Dr B Bhaumik, Professor, Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He was addressing the 2nd edition of the Conference on ‘Future of Automotive Design.’ The event was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Chennai today with the theme : `Design Empowering Tomorrow’.
Some of the solutions suggested by Dr Bhaumik are: Smart transportation, discouraging private transportation, shift to alternative fuels to the maximum extent possible, recycling instead of exploiting resources and finally systematic and holistic design solutions that would complement one another.
Dr V Sumantran, Chairman, Celeris Technologies (P) Ltd, said that on a broader realm performance has to give experience. Today people wanted to be enveloped in sense experience and design has to provide that.
Dr Sumantran said design is also about cost innovation. “Personalisation and customisation is an important part of design. Facilitate the millennials to design their own products”, he said.
Products are getting massively complex with software. “There will also be the issue of man-machine interface. We will be really talking to a product. The future is mobility systems and how the product fit into the system. We have to design for the entire mobility system”, he said.
The millennial customer is unique and designs have to deal with the uniqueness. “We have to design for the soul”, Dr Sumantran said.
Ramkripa Ananthan, Conference Chairperson and Chief Designer (AFS), Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, said designers are dreamers and professionally futurists or futurologists giving a vision of tomorrow. “They give the opportunities in the daunting future”, she said. The two indications for the future are the customers’ quality of life, and environment. Now people care about the environment, the whole world. “We have to think of the people of tomorrow, the millennials. They are constantly bombarded with information”, she said.
“What was essential for commuting was always invented and innovated for the needs of tomorrow. Designs with technology empowered these future needs”, Ms Ramkripa said.
N V Venkatasubramanian, Convenor, Manufacturing Panel CII-Tamil Nadu, and Cheif Executive, L&T Valves Ltd, said design is the engine and cutting edge technology for growth. “We should leverage on the power of Indians for innovation. Designs can make a better future for all. He said the creation of a design community was very relevant and very important.
The conference, in different sessions, discussed the current and future trends in automotive design, the new business models for products and services that novel design bring to the market, the role of the government agencies in developing policy and provisions for design resources, and infrastructure for the overall development of the automotive sector.