Our cars have improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Modern cars provide tremendous power, superior efficiency and a sleeker look, all while giving a rich driving experience. However, there’s one aspect that’s been pretty much the same over the decades: how our cars communicate with us!
Our cars are the most expensive pieces of technology we own and yet in this digital age, they still communicate with us through lights and sounds on the car’s dashboard. We’ve all had horror stories of our cars getting towed, vandalized or misused. We’ve all worried about the safety of our loved ones who are driving. And we’ve all also worried about the fuel efficiency of our cars. At Carnot, we decided to do our bit to change that.
The passion for cars stems from our days at IIT Bombay, where we built fully electric cars for an event called Formula Student, held at the Silverstone Circuit in the UK.
It was at IIT Bombay Racing that the idea for Carnot germinated. Back then, we had developed a product that could monitor our cars from the pit lanes. We realized that this could be ported to our passenger cars to help bridge the gap between our cars and phones. And with that thought, we developed Carnot, a plug and play connected car device. Think of it as the Fitbit for your car – we help keep your car safe, monitor its health and also give you performance analytics on your driving.
We were up for a bigger challenge than we had anticipated. In India, the OBD port was not as standardized as it is globally. This meant that we would have to devise new ways to calculate vehicle speed, engine RPM and other such parameters for those cars that had a non-standard and muted OBD port. We realized that any product that would be compatible with all cars on the road in India would have to be built from scratch, from a chip level.
With that realization, we set off on the path of developing our own product in-house. We are the only Indian connected car device that has built all of the individual product modules from scratch – hardware, firmware, backend, and app. In addition, we are the only product which gives real-time connectivity in the car as well as allows you to access it while you are away. We are working with Qualcomm to develop connected car technology, applying for patents along the way. We have devised ways to find tyre pressure without needing to use sensors, developed capability to upgrade firmware over the air – both of which we have applied for patents. As a team, we have 4 patents and 7 publications in the field of telematics and connected car technology.