City cos in driverless car projects
With internet giant Google, luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz and a host of other global auto majors joining the race for developing viable self-driving cars, information technology companies from India are likely to benefit from these projects, say industry insiders.
Industry insiders say autonomous car initiatives will provide growth opportunities for Indian software companies
Hyderabad: With internet giant Google, luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz and a host of other global auto majors joining the race for developing viable self-driving cars, information technology companies from India are likely to benefit from these projects, say industry insiders.
Driverless cars, also known as autonomous vehicles, use sensors and 3D mapping technologies to scan the environment around them and navigate in the traffic on their own. Software and IT technologies are essential for analyzing huge data generated by such vehicles, and to help them take accurate decisions.
Google which is pouring millions of dollars into research and development of its autonomous vehicle has presented a fully-functional prototype in December 2014. Google co-founder Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin announced two years ago that Google’s self-driving car whose prototypes logged 1.1 million autonomous miles till last April will be available for general public in 2017.
“This is a good opportunity for Indian software sector because thousands of programmers will have to work to make driverless car happen as there is some much amount of automation. The base for this technology is the internet of things,” B V R Mohan Reddy, Executive Chairman, city-based Cyient Limited, and Chairman of software industry body Nasscom, told The Hans India.
According to him, the driverless cars are equipped with sensors which will pickup data around them. “Collating such data is not a big issue, but making meaning out of it is a big thing. So making meaning of millions and trillions of data coming from a driverless car requires good programming.
Also, we need to have good logic for it”, he explained. Some Indian companies like Tech Mahindra are known for their expertise in developing software for automotive sector. Moreover, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tech Mahindra’s parent company, is also said to developing its own self-driving car technologies. “Lot of the technology which has to be put in driverless cars is going to require massive amount of computation which can’t reside inside the car.
So, they require GPS systems, sensors and instrumentation for analyzing data and sending back instructions to car’s steering and brakes. So, software companies play vital role in all these,” said Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India. He further said that Microsoft had been developing software and intelligent technologies for Ford, European automakers and even Japan’s Toyota.
However, he declined to disclose as to whether Microsoft was handling any such projects in India. Pointing out that it would be more of IT than steel in future cars, J A Chowdary, Co-Chairperson, FICCI AP & TS, said Indian IT companies would get more outsourcing projects in this space in coming years. “However, Indians can’t use driverless cars in the country as our roads are not suitable for them, given our traffic conditions,” he said
By:P Madhusudhan Reddy