BENGALURU 17/NOV/2014: Cruising on India\'s highways could, within two years, turn into a driving experience that has so far been restricted to developed countries, according to German marquee carmaker Mercedes-Benz. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi\'s vision of providing high-speed internet across the country translates into reality, drivers will have on tap information on approaching restaurants and fuel pumps, for instance, besides bidding adieu to the fear of being stranded. Without the IT infrastructure in place, content providers have also not come up in the country, said Manu Saale, managing director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India. \"But with Narendra Modi\'s Digital India, I see a lot of buzz with content providers. So between two-three years, if digital highway gets completed, for which signals are good enough, then we too should have it,\" he said.
The Centre\'s Digital India initiative is expected to completed by 2019 at a cost of about Rs1,13,000 crore and offer high-speed internet. Although 233 million Indians are already connected over the internet and global positioning systems assist drivers along the highways, some experts believe that high-speed internet will help build app ecosystem and make driving experience richer. \"I am not actually bothered about apps for now because once you have the IT infrastructure and once the demand is there the app ecosystem is bound to become a reality,\" said Vikash Jain of Boston Consulting Group.
If India\'s over 90,000 km national highways get high-speed internet access, drivers could also expect to be forewarned about problems with their vehicles and get to pull over for a check. \"This is possible...it\'s not so far away,\" said Helmut Schutt, chief information officer of Daimler Trucks, Buses and Vans. \"We have partially realised it. Daimler freight liner trucks in North America use a Virtual technical solution,\" Schutt told ET.