The global auto industry is spending significant resources and time in advancing the autonomous car technology. The leading players are traditional automotive OEMs like Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Audi, BMW, JLR, Volvo, etc., who are joined by technology giants like Google and Apple. Tata Motors is keeping a close tab on the progress of self-driving cars so that it can have a head start when the Indian market eventually gets ready to embrace them.
Talking to Business Standard, Dr. Tim Leverton, Head – Advanced Product Engineering, Tata Motors, stated that globally, automakers are giving more and more autonomy to the vehicles and it’s important for an Indian car maker to understand the technologies behind autonomous cars and that it will come to our market in due course.
However, he added that it will take some years before such technologies become practical and cost-effective for the Indian market conditions. The company could tap into its subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover’s existing array of driver assistance systems. It could also benefit from TCS’ (Tata Consultancy Services) expertise in robotics.
Tata Motors could use the driver assistance technologies as key differentiators between its products and that of the rivals. The objective is to scale back the lost market share in India by being a technology leader. Radar-based driver assistance technologies like collision avoidance, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, etc., are expected to be the first of the futures to trickle down into future Tata cars. In time, the cost structure of the related hardware would come down to desired level.