Blogadda in association with Tata Motors had hosted us to experience the Zest life at The Zuri Hotels in Goa on the 26th and 27th of July. While we were not really sure of what to expect given that this was supposed to be about the car, we were pleasantly surprised the way the entire event was handled. Right from the word Go, everything was very well taken care of and well-coordinated and well-orchestrated; much like a principal would do in an orchestra.
The first day, we were taken through the process of what it is like to make a car. It really was an exhilarating experience. Sandeep Karyakarte explained the nitty-gritties and the philosophy of choosing the Connect Next concepts as well as a brief introduction of the team that actually designed the car. While he was crisp in his presentation, he was also very clear on the reason Tata Zest was made The Tata Zest. An utterly dynamic and magnetic persona. He was followed by Anand Kulkarni who happens to be the chief engineer on the project and he spoke about how Tata through innovations has come up with so many industry and segment firsts. 29 segment firsts to be precise. Some of the concepts like the voice recognition on the infotainment system made so much of sense in this day and age where everything has become smart.
The infotainment system designed in collaboration with Harman Kardron was very responsive and reacted in an apt manner for any events that occurred; be it changing the source of music or calling somebody up or even rejecting a call. Every use case has been thoroughly thought of, designed and implemented. It did not just stop there. We were told that HK had a major hand in designing the acoustics and the hardware. The speakers were HK as well.
A quick talk with the design team revealed how very complex it was to design a car. It took them so many years to get it from the drawing board to a clay model and finally a prototype. Yet, at such a time, the car still has several miles to go before it can be released to public for final usage. The kind of tests that were described were gruesome from the point of the car. It would be forced to crash into a wall at high speeds (Crash Tests) and then it was subjected to endless simulated pot holes on a real road just to see how well the car felt and withstood the stress. However, if I look at this from a user stand point, I think they are doing an excellent job.
The design team also had women on the rolls who were really very elemental and pivotal at deciding what the interiors of the car looked and felt like. To quote Sandeep, “The women were a lot better than men when it came to deciding the actual materials that finally made it into the car.” After all, when anybody steps into the car, it is the interiors that they look at but going a step further, they also feel how it looks like. We spend so many hours of the day behind the wheel almost every day, what fun would it be if it did not feel posh from the inside but only from the outside?