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India's Tata Motors is Using Crowdsourcing, Allowing the Public to Vote On Future Mobility Solutions

India's Tata Motors is Using Crowdsourcing, Allowing the Public to Vote On Future Mobility Solutions

Author: Eric Walz   

Automakers and startups building self-driving cars and other mobility solutions normally develop a product, then design it around the way they want their customers to use it, including the ecosystem built around it.

For example, Alphebet's self-driving division Waymo has designed the entire customer experience for its upcoming robotaxi service. Although Waymo asked for feedback from a small group of early test riders, the general public has little control over Waymo's, or any other mobility company's overall plans and launch cities.

Tata Motors, India's biggest automaker, is taking a new approach to develop mobility solutions in its home country. Its using crowdsourcing which allows the public to help decide its future mobility path and submit ideas for improving India's challenging mobility problems.

The automaker launched an engaging crowdsourcing platform called "TACNet IdeaNation." Its primary purpose is to give every single person in the country the power to list problems which they think are existent in the nation's mobility ecosystem.

The platform will allow people across the country to put forward problems and challenges they currently experience getting around. They can also voice their personal experience with the nation's current mobility ecosystem, to spur the development of solutions.

Residents of India experience some of the world's worst traffic. According to Numbeo, which maintains the world's largest database crowd-sourced consumer data in India, 41.2% of commuters in the Capital city of Hyderabad travel by car. 

The average commute is around 10 miles (16 km), but takes 42 minutes to complete the trip, representing an average speed of just 15 mph. The data shows that biking the same distance takes about the same amount of time, so there is a need to address possible traffic solutions.

By inviting people to submit ideas and issues they face with mobility through TACNet IdeaNation, Tata Motors will be able to better prioritize which mobility problems the company should work on solving. This includes reaching out to innovators and mobility startups to help solve the bigger mobility challenges the country is facing.

"As a leading Indian automotive brand, we constantly keep innovating for better serving the market, and engaging with our customers and the categories we cater to. Through TACNet IdeaNation, we are creating a platform that allows us to engage and harness capabilities and ideas from everywhere in the country. It is an opportunity for everyone from any part of the country to participate and co-create by providing an entirely new vision for enhancing the country's mobility ecosystem." said Pankaj Jhunja, Head- Mobility Services, Tata Motors Ltd.

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Participants can submit their concerns and ideas on https://ideanation.tatamotors.com/index by Feb 3, 2020. Voters do not need to be a resident of India, although its preferred by Tata Motors. The company says that foreign voters should be familiar with the current state of India's mobility ecosystem.

User can visit the website and submit a problem in one of several categories, including, Urban Commuting, Urban Goods, Rural Commute and Leisure Travel. From there, Tata Motors' internal panel will shortlist the problems and compile it down to the top ten issues. This list will then be posted on the IdeaNation website for crowdsourced voting.

Users can vote for the shortlisted problems which they feel are the most relevant and should be prioritized. 

After tallying up the votes, the top 3 issues identified will be selected and then presented to aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups or individuals so they can submit their ideas and solutions to solve them. 

Attendees at the Tata Motors pavilion during the Auto Expo 2020, one of India's premiere auto shows, will also be able to cast their vote from the venue. The show runs from February 7-12.

The teams whose ideas are chosen will then be able to develop their mobility solutions with financial support from Tata Motors.


Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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