Robots and autonomous cars to drive Indian tech growth

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Although India has come a long way when it comes to advancing its tech sector, in the past decade or so it’s seen the most growth in IT maintenance and support sectors, which has ultimately slowed as companies pull back some of their call centres and other support staff to their headquarters-based countries. However, India could be set to see a new technological spike in two key areas: robotics and autonomous vehicles.

Companies like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Wipro Limited are two of the major firms pushing for these sorts of advancements in Indian technology and they’ve recently teamed up with Infosys Limited to invest in new technology related to robotics and driverless cars according to IndiaTimes. Infosys itself, recently bought out Panaya Inc, a US based automation engineering firm for a cool $200 million.

Industry analysts currently paint India’s automation industry, or its Internet of Things industry, at just five per cent of India’s current tech market, to as much as 30 per cent of it in the next five years. This is something that is being echoed around the world, with many different companies looking to develop hardware and software to provide the front end experience for consumers and the back end systems that will talk to one another to facilitate their consumer facing services.

New tech centres will help with innovation.

New tech centres will help with innovation.

This has a lot of people excited, as unlike traditional hardware offerings, Internet of Things devices offer a much higher margin of profit for large developmental firms. The question is however, whether India can compete on the global stage, as some of the world’s largest technology companies will also be weighing in on the industry. Companies like Google and Apple are thought likely to be at the forefront of a lot of development and traditional hardware manufacturers like IBM and HP will also bring their experience and expertise to bear.

However, some believe that the new industry built around the Internet of Things will have plenty of room for new competitors. As head of Tech Mahindra said in an interview, “A Volkswagen cannot suddenly change all cars to be software-driven like a Google car is, they have to work with what they have and use technology that fits.” That’s where his company and many others like it will come in, as there will be many businesses around the world – not just automakers – that will need to make use of specialised hardware and software with inter-connectivity in mind. Potentially any electronics maker could utilise it, including home appliance makers, which would be a huge market in and of itself.

Many Indian companies are also looking to work with new startups, which thanks to the likes of Kickstarter have far more avenues of funding than they once had – although a lot of venture capital is flowing into new and innovative tech startups at the moment too.

Image source: Ajith Kumar, OnetechNews

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.