Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 12 (CARNOT)

The “Internet of things” (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work.

Today, there is data generated everywhere – when you purchase a drug over the counter, disembark a taxi or even when you pass a toll-way. IoT gives us the opportunity to capture this data, analyze it and take action, to make our lives better by being more connected.

Needless to say, this wave of connectivity will transform the auto sector dramatically. Unlike autonomous driving and ridesharing which threaten to disrupt the industry and challenge the incumbents, IoT offers an opportunity, a tool that every auto ecosystem player can leverage to drive the next wave of improvement in efficiencies across all functions and for all stakeholders.

With IoT, car owners will be able to connect their cars with the rest of the digital world. For the most expensive “tech gadget” surprisingly little “consumer tech” has crept into our car. A majority of our cars have worse UI than a smartphone costing INR 10k. Our cars still communicate with us through lights and sound on the dashboard.

And this Sunday we bring you story of “CARNOT” A smart car device made by Carnot Technologies Pvt. Ltd. which with the help of IoT is set to address the above issue and Change our experience of a car drive.


Founded in 2015 by four IIT Bombay alumni – Rohan Vadgaonkar, Urmil Shah, Pushkar Limaye and Prathamesh Joshi, Carnot was founded with an aim to build a product for India, fully designed and manufactured in India, offering a world-class experience. They set up a pilot in May 2015, just outside IIT campus, and bootstrapped their way to the first version of the product – a hand-soldered prototype.

About the Product

  1. Carnot is a small device that could be plugged into the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port of a car. “The OBD port is a standard but less known feature of every car since 2008. Using the data available at the OBD port and some additional sensors, Carnot’s proprietary algorithms send instant alerts for any incident like towing, theft or even accidents to one’s Smartphone.


  • The device also helps diagnose issues with the engine and battery easily and can call for free roadside assistance anywhere in India, through a partner.
  • The device tracks your car from anywhere in the world and you will always know the location of your car on phone.
  • Carnot sends an SOS alert to your emergency contacts in case of an accident and even notifies you in case of a rash driving or towing incident.
  • The device automatically stores all the trip data and also suggests ways to improve your driving style to have an enriched driving experience
  • Carnot plugs into OBD port, which is present in all cars on the road manufactured post-2008 and also in most cars pre-2008, so installation is very easy and not much effort is required.

Various challenges faced by the founders 

  • Convincing their parents to quit the job and start the venture
  • Creating a machine manufactured prototype of the product- nearly took them 5 months
  • Getting Seed funding- Eventually financed by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon (founders FreeCharge.)
  • Non-standard OBD ports- Built a data science team to develop algorithms that can make the device compatible with any car
  • Failed first mass manufacturing design- Started working on the 2nd version and again it took 4 months to design a fully functional scalable design.

Future Ahead

The response has been great from the start, online targeting has been working really well. Selling at is also working great. There is a huge potential in two-wheelers but comes with its own unique challenges.

Going forward the company is looking to further their partnerships with insurance companies, car manufacturers and other auto players to offer value-added services to owners and bring about the connected car revolution in India.

The company is envisioning a future where you can access everything related to your car with a single tap on your phone: including insurance, buying accessories and car servicing


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