APAC16 will bring automotive experts across the globe together on a common platform at Chennai to share their experience, knowledge and innovative ideas, reports Huned Contractor With its theme of 'sustainable tech-nologies for smart and safe mo-bility', The Society of Automotive Engineers India (SAEINDIA) will bring together leaders in the mobility industry at APAC16 (Asia Pacific Automotive Conference 16), a three-day international conference to highlight the most impacting factors in today's automotive world. The event will be held from October 6 to 8 at Chennai. Announcing this at a media conference held in Pune, the organisers stated that with the proliferation of auto clusters within the country, this conference will provide a global platform for industry experts, government and academia to get a three-dimensional view in the areas of engine technologies, green vehicles, safety, automotive infotronics, frugal engineering, collaborative innovations, and IPR policy and regulations.The International Federation of Automotive Engineering (FISITA) organises this event biennially in different countries. After hosting it in countries like Japan, Australia, China, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam, it is now being held in India. The conference will primarily focus on sustainable technology options and the creation of an enabling eco-system to advance safe and smart mobility. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Shrikant Marathe, Chairman, Exposition Committee, APAC16 and Director, ARAI, Pune said, "New approaches and strategies are emerging to tackle the everlasting challenges of providing clean, safe and affordable mobility solutions. It is a changing paradigm. Incremental technological advances, breakthrough innovations, frugal engineering, collaborative and community research and many such avenues are simultaneously explored with great quest and speed like never before. APAC16 will bring the automotive experts across the globe together on a common platform to share their experience, knowledge and innovative ideas on the developments in automotive technology." The conference will be complemented by the concurrently organised APAC16 Expo, Technology Theater and E-Expo where more than 100 companies and institutions from across the world will showcase their automotive products, equipment, services and technology solutions. Adding to this, Dr K C Vora, Co-Chairman, Technical & Publication Committee, SAEINDIA and Head & Deputy Director, ARAI Academy, ARAI Pune, said, "APAC16 brings the delegates a basket of technical feast of 140 technical papers and 15 keynote papers presented by the experts and authorities in the topics. These papers will be presented in six parallel sessions over two days. The session topics are two and three-wheeler technologies, advance materials, clean fuels and sustainable propulsion, commercial vehicle technologies, etc."The 65 papers from Indian authors and 75 papers from 15 other countries will also focus on subjects like communication networks and vehicle architecture, driver assistant systems, emission control technologies, engineering process and tools, fuel economy and CO2, fuel injection systems, hybrid and electric vehicles, manufacturing technologies, modelling, comfort and ergonomics, off-highway vehicle technologies, powertrain and aggregate management systems, reliability and durability, safety, simulation, thermal management systems and virtual testing. SAEINDIA is the largest group affiliated to SAE International, USA which is a 106-years-old organisation founded by the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford and the likes with 1,20,000 engineers, business executives, educators and students as members from more than 120 countries. SAEINDIA has 32,000 members and is registered as a non-profit engineering and scientific society dedicated to the advancement of mobility industry in India. SAEINDIA has been focusing on the trends occurring in the automotive industry today that affect all automotive engineers and engineering societies.
On the sidelines of the media conference to announce APAC16, Huned Contractor spoke to Dr Arun Jaura, Chairman, Technical & Publication Committee and Convening Member of APAC16, Secretary, SAEINDIA and Vice President, Technology and Head - Eaton India Engineering Center. Excerpts:What, according to you, is the significance of APAC16?We are in a growing economy that is witnessing a surge in mobility demand. We need to meet the growing mobility demands while minimizing the energy and environmental impacts. This requires us to formulate collaborative multi-generation partnerships in innovative sustainable technologies. The current challenges of vehicle safety, smart networks and efficient powertrains can be addressed through sustainable technologies. There are exciting opportunities that can help reduce costs of advanced materials, electronics, affordable hybrid technologies and energy storage to provide competitive mobility solutions to consumers. India has positioned itself as the epicenter of pragmatic frugal engineering that nurtures innovative minds and growing engineering talent.Does this tie in with the Indian government's Automotive Mission Plan 2016?Yes, it certainly does because the plan envisages an investment of USD 40 billion, besides providing direction to help transform India into a global automobile player by 2016. It also proposes a 25-point agenda to facilitate the emergence of India as a manufacturing and export hub for automotives. The turnover of the automobile industry, as projected in the document, would increase to USD 145 billion by 2016, accounting for 10 per cent of the GDP. The industry will also provide employment to about 25 million people by 2016.Why do you think India can do it?We have the engineering talent and the resources to devise and implement sustainable automotive technologies that will be very affordable compared to those of the developed nations. There of course will be challenges too. Along with the technological development in the making of the vehicles, we will simultaneously have to develop the required infrastructure also. Green technology is now the buzz word and Indian companies will have to start thinking and acting on these lines in right earnest.In what way has the global auto industry changed?Compare today's scenario with what it was a few decades ago when in India, for example, buyers had just two to three options when it came to purchasing scooters, motorcycles or cars. Now a buyer has a wide range of options to choose from and the technology has developed so rapidly that cars, in particular, come packaged with a host of devices and facilities that makes the driving experience so smooth and safe. Therefore, with the customers' expectations having jumped manifold, manufacturers have to now keep pace with the demands and innovation has become mandatory. Therefore, challenges have to be converted into opportunities.What is the most serious challenge in today's times?Apart from the development of sustainable technologies, what is very crucial today is to adhere to the emission norms and the regulations that keep changing. For example, India is still not at par with the emission norms practised in other countries and there is a need to reach that level. All this is going to call for a huge amount of investments.The current priorities also include the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. India also needs a talent pool of automobile engineers. Congestion, overloading and safety are the other concerns that need to be given serious attention. All this is also related to energy management. For example, while cars come loaded with a host of devices such as independent air-conditioning channels for the driver and the passengers or the video screens behind each seat, what is also important is to look at the energy all this consumes.What about old vehicles that continue to defy the emission norms?A model that has been developed by the ARAI for the inspection and maintenance of old commercial vehicles has been successfully tested in New Delhi and will soon be put into action in ten other states. This is called the Inspection and Maintenance Lane. A truck or a bus is passed through this lane and tested for various parameters such as braking system, steering, lights, emission, corrosion, etc and is then provided with a certificate only if all the parameters have matched the benchmarks.