India’s Vehicle Location Tracking with eSIM

Bee Hayes-Thakore -
India’s Vehicle Location Tracking with eSIM
Illustration: © IoT For All

In recent years, India has witnessed a significant transformation in vehicle tracking and management, primarily due to implementing the AIS-140 (Automotive Industry Standard 140) requirement mandated by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.

This regulation has revolutionized tracking vehicle locations in the country, making it essential for companies to adopt advanced technologies that ensure compliance while enhancing operational efficiency.

One such technology gaining momentum in this domain is eSIM (embedded SIM) or eUICC (embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card). These technologies offer numerous benefits to companies operating in India, providing flexibility, cost-efficiency, and freedom to choose from various vendors.

Let’s explore why eSIM technology is essential for Indian companies to thrive in the AIS-140 landscape and how Kigen, a fast mover in the eSIM ecosystem, catalyzes India’s growth.

eSIM’s Growth for Vehicle Location Tracking

In India, more than fifty percent of the population uses public transport daily. The safety and security of vehicles and passengers on Indian roads is the central component of India’s growth and digitalization for Intelligent Mobility.

Vehicle and passenger route data, movements, and frequency allow for better transit management and emergency response across the vast range of Inner city, inter-city, and highway/longer route transport.

The following research showcases the growth of eSIM:

  • Juniper Research forecasts the value of the global e-SIM market will increase from $4.7 billion in 2023 to $16.3 billion by 2027. Further, IoT connections will outpace smartphone eSIM growth by 2026.

  • Although device shipments and projections are sound indicators, eSIM profile downloads show actual activity – encouraging estimates from Trusted Connectivity Alliance show that IoT/M2M eSIM downloads increased by 148 percent in 2022.

  • Counterpoint Technology and Research projects telematics device shipments to reach 50 million units in 2030 at a CAGR of 31 percent from 2021.

  • Telematics device revenues will climb to ₹175 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 21 percent from 2021.

The Significance of AIS-140 in India

The AIS-140 mandate, issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, aims to enhance the safety and security of vehicles on Indian roads. eSIM-enabled telematics are also mandated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) directive for insurance companies and fleet management companies across India.

This regulation requires all commercial vehicles to be equipped with a vehicle location tracking device, an emergency button, and a one-way communication system, among other specifications as per below:

  1. eUICC Compliance: The tracking devices used for AIS-140 compliance should be equipped with embedded SIM (eUICC) cards to enable secure connectivity and remote provisioning.

  2. Real-Time Location Tracking: The tracking device should be capable of real-time vehicle location tracking and reporting. It should provide accurate information about the vehicle’s current position, speed, and direction.

  3. Emergency Button: The device should be equipped with an emergency button, which, when activated, sends an immediate alert to a predefined emergency contact or control center. This feature is crucial for passenger safety and quick response in emergencies.

  4. Two-Way Communication: The tracking device should support two-way communication, allowing authorities or the control center to establish communication with the vehicle and its passengers if necessary.

  5. Data Storage: The device should have storage capabilities to record and store location and event data for a specified period. This data may be used for analysis, compliance, and post-incident investigations.

  6. Tamper Detection: The device should be designed to detect any tampering attempts, such as removal or disconnection, and report such incidents to the control center.

  7. Over-the-Air (OTA) Updates: The eUICC should support remote provisioning and over-the-air updates to ensure it can be configured or updated without physically accessing the SIM card. This feature is essential for compliance with changing regulations.

  8. Secure Communication: The eUICC should support secure communication protocols to protect the data transmitted between the tracking device and the control center.

  9. Compliance with Local Regulations: The eUICC should comply with local telecommunications and regulatory standards and requirements, which may vary in states and union territories, including any updates or changes in AIS-140 regulations.

The primary objective of AIS-140 is to ensure real-time tracking of commercial vehicles, making it easier to respond to emergencies, reduce accidents, and enhance the overall efficiency of the transport system.

However, to achieve these goals, companies must leverage cutting-edge technology that can provide a seamless, cost-effective, and versatile solution.

eSIMs for Vehicle Location Tracking

eSIM technology, or embedded SIMs, are designed to replace traditional physical SIM cards in connected devices. These eSIMs are soldered onto a device’s motherboard, making them a perfect fit for the AIS-140 requirements, especially in the Indian context.

Here’s why eSIM is essential for Indian companies to achieve flexible, remote, secure IoT scalability, cost-efficiency, and vendor choice:

Flexibility in Compliance

One of the critical advantages of eSIM technology is its flexibility. Unlike physical SIM cards, eSIMs can be remotely updated, enabling swift and efficient updates and compliance with evolving regulations.

In the dynamic landscape of the AIS-140 requirement, this flexibility is crucial for companies, as it allows them to adapt quickly to changing standards and stay on the right side of the law.

Example: Imagine a fleet management company that operates in multiple Indian states, each with slightly different AIS-140 compliance certifications. With eSIM technology, this company can easily adjust its tracking devices to meet the specific requirements of each region without physically replacing SIM cards, thereby reducing downtime and ensuring continued compliance.


Cost-effectiveness is a primary concern for companies, especially in a price-conscious market like India. eSIM technology offers significant cost savings by eliminating the need for physical SIM cards, which can be expensive to distribute, install, replace, and maintain.

Additionally, eSIMs enable remote diagnostics and troubleshooting, reducing the need for costly on-site technical support.

Example:logistics company with a large fleet of vehicles can significantly cut operational costs by remotely managing and updating eSIMs on its tracking devices. This eliminates the need for physical maintenance and minimizes downtime, resulting in substantial cost savings over time.

Choice of Different Vendors

Another essential benefit of eSIM technology is quickly switching between multiple vendors. Companies are not tied to a single network provider, allowing them to choose the most cost-effective and reliable connectivity option.

Example: An India-based e-commerce company that relies on various vehicle tracking solutions can now choose from different vendors to optimize their tracking services based on performance and cost. eSIMs allow them to switch between vendors seamlessly without replacing SIM cards.

Ease of Deployment

India has multiple telecom circles and local regulations to cater to. Giving OEMs and service providers the ability to build with one SKU brings cost benefits and operational efficiencies.

Example: A device manufacturer wants to support intra-city and inter-state tracking with last-mile delivery updates for improved experience. For optimal performance, the device needs to hop multiple telecom circles in a compact footprint and also be cost-effective to operate.

Using MFF2 eUICC in the device allows it to meet its desired physical characteristics. Typically, OTA-based MFF2 solutions may only allow switching between two profiles, falling short in some regions. Instead, an RSP-capable solution can increase the number of profiles to achieve the best-quality coverage.

Driving Forward Together

The AIS-140 requirement has brought about a significant shift in India’s vehicle tracking landscape. To thrive in this rapidly evolving regulatory environment, Indian companies must adopt advanced technologies that offer flexibility, cost-efficiency, and the freedom to choose from different vendors.

eSIM technology stands out as a game-changer in this context, providing companies with the means to meet compliance requirements while minimizing operational costs.

Bee Hayes-Thakore - VP of Marketing, Kigen UK Ltd

Kigen is the global security leader for Integrated SIM (iSIM) and eSIM technology solutions and services or connected devices. Connect with #futureofSIM conversation on LinkedIn and via Kigen_Ltd on Twitter.
Kigen is the global security leader for Integrated SIM (iSIM) and eSIM technology solutions and services or connected devices. Connect with #futureofSIM conversation on LinkedIn and via Kigen_Ltd on Twitter.