ON the 4th of December 2018, at the Car of the Year 2018 – MITI Minister, YB Datuk Darell Leiking announced the rebranding of the Malaysia Automotive Insitute (MAI), to the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics & IoT Institute.
Yesterday, I hosted a briefing for automotive industry players and the media – on the goals, strategies, and programmes of MARii.
As this is the first article specific to MARii’s establishment, let me clarify the key role MARii will play through this rebranding.
Simply put, the establishment of MARii aims to future-proof the Malaysian automotive industry.
MARii will be the focal point, coordinating centre and think tank towards enhancing the competitiveness of the automotive industry and overall mobility, through the adoption of robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).
This means that all programmes and activities conducted by MARii will still be focused on the automotive industry, while the scope of robotics and IoT creates a new dimension to MARii’s roles in accelerating these two elements within the sector.
While these two new areas are highly complex, the reason of MARii’s expansion is not as complicated.
The scenario of the future is clear – whether or not we are a consumer or a producer, robotics and IoT (and the elements associated with them) are converging.
In essence, a robot is a machine that perform automated functions, but most importantly has the ability to learn, reacting and enhancing based on the “experience” it receives over time.
It may eventually look like what we see in science fiction, but for now, they exist in other forms – vacuum cleaners, smart phones, self-driving cars and industrial assembly, to name a few, and they will improve learning capabilities in due time.
The IoT is the conduit, via a universal communication protocol, for anything that processes data or algorithms, which is built in everything now to transmit such data to a data server/processor in the cloud.
Previously, computers communicated with each other over the internet to transmit data for your email, research and information and communication needs.
Today, the internet can connect and transmit data between any object that has data to transmit.
Here, is the scenario we must address. When machines are intelligent, and they can talk to each other a vast distance away through the internet, imagine the new products, its associated manufacturing processes and service delivery systems that will be created.
The development of products and services that talk to each other forms that symbiosis between robotics and IoT.
At the end of the day, no matter how complex these technologies can be, the one that masters both holds the key to the future.
As far as the automotive industry is concerned, a rapid development of this trade is key – and MARii exists to kickstart the development of the fundamentals of robotics and IoT to address this future needs.
These fundamentals begin the with ability to design products and processes based on the applications of machine learning, artificial intelligence, connectivity and its applications in the automotive industry and overall mobility.
Lastly, we must be mindful that robotics and IoT are not meant to displace people from the jobs they have, but to enrich them with the skills to create even better things with the new technologies present before us.
Please stay tuned to the future developments, programmes and activities that will be conducted and implemented by MARii in this exciting new dimension we aspire to create for the automotive industry.
At its core, our function is very simply, to enrich the Malaysian people.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii).