Technology company Continental is expanding its Human Machine Interface (HMI) business in India, aided by the recent commencement of Instrument Cluster supplies for Hyundai’s new Verna and Venue models. The company has increased its production and development capabilities to meet the growing local demand.
Business Unit Human Machine Interface (HMI BU) is part of the Business Area ‘Vehicle Networking and Information’ (VNI) within Automotive Technologies at Continental and is focused on developing systems and solutions for a holistic human-machine interface, such as instrument clusters, display solutions, head-up displays, multimedia systems and cockpit high-performance computers. In India, the business unit has been successfully partnering with automotive OEMs to deliver user-experience rich information systems and solutions. In 2018, the HMI BU reached a production milestone of one million instrument clusters a year, in India. Since the beginning of production to the present day, the business unit has produced over 8 million instrument clusters
According to Prasad C. Basappa, Head of Business Unit Human Machine Interface in India, ” We are upbeat about the growth potential of products, software and services that enrich the user experience (UX) of vehicle drivers and passengers in India. The user experience is becoming the key product differentiator for vehicle manufacturers and buying decisions by consumers are influenced by UX more than ever. The global market is growing significantly, and the value share is also increasing in India. As a global market leader in this field, we have received some significant orders in 2020 to continue our growth journey here.”
For this reason, the recent capacity augmentation in Bangalore for HMI supports Continental’s philosophy of ‘In the market, for the market’.
“In addition to supporting the local market, our products manufactured in India continue to be used on cars that some vehicle manufacturers export to different markets in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa”, Prasad C Basappa concludes.
Fostering R&D Expertise
The technology company also continues to ramp up the HMI R&D capability in India, seeing the immense potential for growth in HMI related software. Holistic HMI technologies provide the right information at the right place, adding to the comfort factor, enriching the overall user experience and equally important, enhance the safety quotient of the vehicle. The engineering department of HMI BU was established in 2018 in India, with a vision to set up an agile autonomous central software development center to support global and local businesses. Since then, there has been expansive growth both in terms of workforce and software capabilities, developing technologies such as the highly sophisticated cockpit high-performance computers for global automakers. The company is also on the lookout for appropriate opportunities to utilize this competence for the Indian market, by partnering with local OEMs which are looking to increase the interior electronic content.
Embracing Industry 4.0
Continental is on a fast track to convert its production plants into smart factories. Continental India’s largest automotive plant in Bangalore has already established several Industry 4.0 practices. Technologies such as collaborative robots (Cobots), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) for face recognition, automated replenishment systems, automated optical inspection, automated guided vehicles (AGV), and Big Data applications, among many others, are employed in the plant. Phanindra Karody, Plant Manager of the Bangalore Plant, Continental Automotive India, emphasizes, With increased capacity and growing production volume, our customers will greatly benefit from our smart Industry 4.0 factory set-up which guarantees precision, efficiency optimization, accountability, traceability, and overall quality.
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