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  • Sep 14, 2021 - This Indian Company is Tapping into the Huge Autonomous Driving Opportunity

This Indian Company is Tapping into the Huge Autonomous Driving Opportunity

Sep 14, 2021

Today, technological changes are very dynamic and Indian companies are at the forefront.

Be it artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, drone technology or electric vehicles (EVs), Indian companies are tapping into these huge opportunities.

Take the auto sector for example, which is going through a transformation, including the autonomous driving revolution.

It was the sort of thing you'd see in movies. Today, driverless cars are a reality.

Let's take a deeper look at this exciting new technology.

The 5 Levels of Autonomous Driving Technology

Level 1 includes features such as cruise control, lane, and parking assistance. Here the driver is required to be in control at all times.

On the other hand, in level 5 vehicles are fully autonomous. No driver is required behind the wheel at all.

Global companies such as Tesla and Waymo are leading the race when it comes to automated driving.

But what about Indian companies? Are there any Indian auto companies which are betting big on autonomous driving?

In 2018, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) showcased an autonomous tractor, stating that it intends to develop fully autonomous tractors in the future.

But at present, Indian automakers have not announced plans of deploying this technology anytime soon.

However, there are IT companies which have joined carmakers and startups to develop autonomous vehicles.

Largecap IT companies include HCL Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Tech Mahindra.

Among these is a midcap IT company which is taking the lead in the autonomous driving opportunity. In fact, this company has been in the autonomous driving environment for over a decade now.

Tata Elxsi

Tata Elxsi works with leading OEMs, system suppliers, and software and silicon providers in the automotive industries for R&D, design, and product engineering services.

In fact, it's among the few companies in the world to be accredited with Automotive SPICE Level 5 certification.

The company has built an autonomous vehicle middleware platform - Autonomai. This platform is designed to help OEMs and system suppliers build, test, and deploy autonomous vehicle applications.

Autonomai's perception system uses data fed by multiple sensors. It's algorithms identify traffic signs, road borders, lanes, and object identification such as vehicles, pedestrians, and animals.

With the help of this platform, Tata Elxsi has built a RoboTaxi, which enables level 3+ driving. RoboTaxi was demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas between 7-10 January 2020.

Global Presence

Tata Elxsi has been adopting the driverless opportunities around the world.

Back in 2017, the company's platform was licensed by one of the world's top five vehicle manufacturers for its driverless R&D.

The company collaborated with Hyundai's Mobis Technical Centre, India (HMTCI) in 2018 to develop a synthetic scene generator tool. This tool will replicate real-world scenarios an automobile would come across.

In 2019, Tata Elxsi licensed AUTOSAR Adaptive to Great Wall Motors, China's largest SUV and pickup manufacturer, to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles.

This year in January, Tata Elxsi and Syntiant Corp announced a collaboration to help manufacturers design and develop low-power, always-on voice apps.

The Company's Latest Moves

When it comes to autonomous driving, there's always the risk of accidents.

To prevent this, Tata Elxsi minimises the disengagement time. This is the time when a human driver is asked to take control of the vehicle. It does this by critically analysing data from different subsystems.

The company is still working to better this. There's already improvement in terms of reducing disengagement time.

Tata Elxsi also works with top global auto firms and tier-1 suppliers to develop smart parking solutions.

It's also focusing on AI-based perception models, driver behaviour intelligence solutions, ML-based cabin monitoring systems which can detect dangerous objects.

Also, the company has Tata Group's full support. When Tata Motors launched the Zest sedan in August 2014, Tata Elxsi bought a model and deployed six engineers to dismantle it.

Later, they converted it into a car that could be driven from the front left seat, instead of the customary right, using a keyboard. Tata Elxsi then converted it into an autonomous car for Tata Motors.

Rise of Startups in Autonomous Driving

Top companies across the globe have started to invest in startups to tap into various opportunities.

In the autonomous driving space, there are approximately 20 startups in India They have raised substantial funding lately.

Prominent names among these include Ati Motors, Flux Auto, Swaayatt Robots, and Quixote, among others.

With nearly 7.1% share from the total GDP, India's automobile industry is expected to reach US$300 bn by 2026 and is set to be the third-largest market.

Autonomous driving is hard in India due to dangerous roads and absence of proper infrastructure. But it has not stopped auto firms and startups to enter the field.

There're also legislative hurdles. Road and transport minister Nitin Gadkari has said,

  • Many times I am asked what about driverless cars. Then I say till the time I am transport minister you forget that. I will not allow driverless cars to come in India.

Tata Elxsi's Soaring Share Price

Tata Elxsi has been a market favourite. It's shares have turned into a multibagger in 2021.

This Tata group company's share price was trading at Rs 1,865.65 at the start of this year. Today, it trades at around 5,000, up 168% in 2021. If compared for the past one year, it's shares have rallied a stellar 289%!

Tata Elxsi does not have any debt on its books and the company is a strong dividend payer.

Have a look at the chart below to see its dividend history over the years.

Do check out Tata Elxsi's latest shareholding pattern.

As more companies foray into driverless cars, there's huge opportunity in the coming years. Auto R&D spending will surely increase. Tata Elxsi stands to benefit from this.

About Tata Elxsi

Incorporated in 1989, Tata Elxsi predominantly designs and develops systems and software for the auto, aerospace, broadcast, communication, consumer electronics, and semiconductor sectors.

It also provides systems integration and industrial design services across industries.

Tata Elxsi, headquartered in Bangalore, has a presence across the US, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Japan.

In India, the company has global development centers and studios in Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, and Pune.

To know more, check out Tata Elxsi company fact sheet and quarterly results.

For a sector overview, read our IT sector report.

You can also compare Tata Elxsi with its peers.

Tata Elxsi vs TCS

Tata Elxsi vs L&T Infotech

Tata Elxsi vs HCL Technologies

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It is not a stock recommendation and should not be treated as such. Learn more about our recommendation services here...

Yash Vora

Yash Vora is a financial writer with the Microcap Millionaires team at Equitymaster. He has followed the stock markets right from his early college days. So, Yash has a keen eye for the big market movers. His clear and crisp writeups offer sharp insights on market moving stocks, fund flows, economic data and IPOs. When not looking at stocks, Yash loves a game of table tennis or chess.

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