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Author's profile photo Tathagata Sengupta

HANA in the driving path..Literally!

Much has been said about real-time analytics and big data. Yet another blog in this space probably has a high chance of being touted as yet-another-attempt. However, the possibilities in this segment are so immense that I could not but give in to writing this blog. The relevance of software today is measured by the role it plays in bettering the lives of the masses – and not only the big corporations and enterprises. The automotive industry is probably one of the biggest drivers of the global economy and has fuelled a number of significant innovations in software.

Real time analytics powered by a HANA on cloud infrastructure has the potential of transforming this industry like never before. While analytics has traditionally been utilized to improve operational and supply chain efficiency of the enterprises, it does have the capability of transforming the lives of the end customers of this industry – people like you and me.

As we get more and more sensitive about the rising fuel costs, every piece of analytics which can improve the fuel economy and help us predict the transportation costs better will be welcome. HANA provides us with the perfect platform to do so. Automotive majors like Daimler and Toyota, have already invested mega bucks into capturing driver analytics and converting them into useful pieces of information. Imagine, a possibility where your driving performance is uploaded real time into a HANA on cloud infrastructure, and provides you with options to choose a better route – where you don’t have to brake as hard and often as in the current route, thereby improving your driving experience and the fuel economy. When integrated with your car GPS, it can even give you real-time updates about the traffic conditions and propose you alternate routes. Google maps does provide this feature even today, but just think about checking it while driving through a busy junction of any global metropolis. Real time driver analytics can also help one compare themselves against the industry benchmarks and focus on improvement areas. A simple app on the smartphones can provide all the information one would need in this regard, and while it is not mandatory for everybody to follow it – the streets would be much safer if only a fraction of the drivers do take it seriously. And when tangible benefits like saving a few bucks on fuel is involved, people would probably pay attention.

The other use case, I can think of is that of auto insurance. All of us, go through the rigors of renewing our auto insurance every year. Now the automotive insurance agency has long embraced the pay-as-you-drive concept and is finding an increasing acceptance of the concept amongst the drivers around the globe. Real time driver analytics can help provide a more accurate basis for the computation of the yearly premium. To give you an example, a driver who is prone to braking hard every time and changing lanes all too often – is more susceptible to an accident or can easily become the cause of one (even if unintentional). Such a driver should be charged a higher premium than the careful ones – taking care to look over the shoulder every time they change lanes. The benefit of safe and smooth driving, can then be automatically passed on to the end consumers thereby benefitting both the consumers and the insurance majors.

And how much better would it be, if the driver analytics can also provide me with the necessary data for choosing my next car, best suited for my driving pattern and style – ofcourse within my budget!

The industry is already making great strides in connected cars – with google self-drive cars leading the show. An analysis shows that these cars can generate about 1 GB of data per second and HANA on cloud provides the best infrastructure for such a connected world. By hosting such an application on the cloud, SAP has the capability to reach out to the masses and lead a positive impact on the daily lives of the global population. Rapid strides in this space can also help SAP in its pursue in innovating relevant software, a software transforming lives of millions. This can also catapault SAP into the leagues dominated by Google today. The future in this space is certainly exciting. So lets fasten our seat belts and let real time driver analytics show us the path and fatten our purse too!

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