Time changes everything, whether it is human lifestyle or technology. At present we are living in an era of Industry 4.0 and progressing towards Industry 5.0 where we are dealing with technologies like automation, robotics, Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial Intelligence etc.
I remember the era till early 90s, in which the motor vehicles used to be a complete mechanical system with few electrical components like starter motor, alternators, lamps etc., but later in the late 90s, a Korean automaker entered Indian Market and revolutionised the automotive technology with introduction of fuel injection system. Now, the motor vehicle was no more a mechanical system only, but it also received an 8-bit computer inside it.
Computer inside a Car! Is it a joke? I was taken aback after hearing this and in those times the availability of Internet was a challenge as there was no scope of Google search, which is very popular today. For many years, this question haunted in my mind that how can a computer sit inside a car as the word computer used to mean a bulky desktop from IBM which I used to see in my school’s computer laboratory. Time progressed and I got admitted to my Engineering course in mid-2000 where I studied about microcontrollers. Finally, after many years, I got the answer of my most awaited question which has taken refuge in my mind.
Now, the modern automobiles are a complete mechatronics system which comprises Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Software Engineering. The future automotive technology focusses on Advance Driver Assist System, Connected cars, Autonomous mobility that includes Driverless cars, Semi-automated driving, Auto-park assist, Automatic valet parking etc. and Electric mobility.
The above-mentioned features and technologies can be only achieved by the integration of sensors, cameras, microcontrollers and embedded technologies & software technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning etc. The automotive manufacturers and their OEMs are focussing more on the above areas and the demand of Engineers in this emerging field has increased drastically.
My recommendation to all the future Engineers who are dreaming to start their career in automotive industry should focus on the key skills like Embedded system programming, Python programming, Electrical machines, Power electronics converters, Fundamentals of sensors and Actuators, Communication protocols like LIN, CAN, MOST, Modern IC Engine and transmission basics in their curriculum.
Assistant Professor –EEE Dept. and
Associate Head-Automotive Mechatronics Centre
(In collaboration with MBIL,Pune)
KIET Group of Institutions