Reliance Jio plans to connect million of cars to internet, to partner with Maruti, Hyundai


After signing up 90 million users in less than a year, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio is now eyeing to connect car makers on Indian road with the internet. According to a Factor Daily report, the telecom major is in talks with automobile manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motors India, and others.

For connecting cars with the Internet, Jio will leverage on-board diagnostic (OBD) device. OBD devices, used in engine diagnostics, are already an integral part of the services networks for the majority of car manufacturers.

OBD will enable real-time connectivity between the OBD device and a carmaker’s servers to connect rider’s gadgets such as phones, tablets or laptops. The Mumbai-based company has partnered with Reno, US-based AirWire Technologies to manufacture a cheap OBD device, states report.

The OBD device connected with a Jio SIM card will also let owners to access location of the car along with features to turn on engine and AC.

Leveraging real-time connectivity Jio can bring million of cars under its umbrella. Currently, about 3 million cars are being sold in India every year. According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), 30,46,727 units domestic passenger vehicles (PV) were sold in last fiscal. The total number of cars on Indian roads is about 24 million.

This is the huge opportunity for Jio, however, carmakers like Hyundai and Maruti are also mulling over connected car strategies. Honda is developing its own connected car solution.

Of late, Jio has been exploring various sectors for monetization. After disrupting consumer market, Jio sees huge opportunity through creating fixed-line high-speed broadband services for enterprises, small businesses, homes and public places.

Experts believe that it may disrupt the enterprise market, much as Jio has done with the consumer market.

Besides announcing free phones, Reliance Jio has planned to provide free Wi-Fi to three crore college students across the country. The company had submitted a proposal in this regard to the human resource development (HRD) ministry in July this year.

To beef up its stake in digital entertainment space, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has invested Rs 413.28 crore in television and film production house Balaji Telefilms for a 24.92 per cent stake.

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