Tata Technology Seeks Silicon Valley EV Insights

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Tata is one of the largest companies in India and stretches into just about every industry … cars, heavy trucks, metal supply, technology, consulting … even cell service, to name a few. From the looks of it, Tata is interested in stretching its wings (and the business) into the US, as subsidiary Tata Technologies has announced the opening of a new “innovation lab” in the renowned tech hub Silicon Valley in Northern California.

Silicon Valley has been a hub for innovation on the ‘net and in technology for the last ~30 years or more, and over the last few years, has become a hub for integrating that technology into cars with Tesla, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, VW, Nissan, and others having local offices there with similar goals of harnessing the technological innovation of the Valley for integration into vehicles.

Technology in cars used to be as simple as the standalone infotainment system, which, over time, evolved into GPS and navigation, then into the actual brains of the car, and now is undergoing a full step change as the automotive industry gears up for the race towards the first production car capable of fully autonomous driving. The average modern car on the road today is often tooling around with more than 100 million lines of code in it — a staggering amount for something as basic as a gasoline engine–powered vehicle, but speaks to the complexity of modern cars.

With this in mind, it makes loads of sense why Tata is coming to the brain trust of US tech talent to open an innovation center, and the Tata story doesn’t stop there. The company is also working on an electric car that can scale and it stands to make a sizeable profit if the automaker can bottle up Silicon Valley tech and roll it into a compact, affordable electric car for the masses back home in India.

“A lot of innovation is happening in the E-car concept and we are setting up our innovation lab in California to intersect and help such companies productionize some of their ideas,” said Samir Yajnik, Tata Technologies and President Global Delivery & COO APAC.

Tata shared that the new effort will leverage existing efforts in Bangalore and Pune in concert with new teams in Europe and the US. In support of the new center, Tata Technologies Inc is currently hiring a Resident Engineer for its automotive program in Palo Alto — though, there will likely be a much larger wave of hiring just prior to the startup of a new center. Leveraging the globally distributed strength of Tata will be a challenge as the company is used to operating within India, with support of an array of Tata teams across industries.

The video below of the Tata Technologies eMo concept speaks to many of the themes we have seen in first generation EVs like the BMW i3, Honda Fit EV, and the smart EV — though, it likely has some opportunities when it comes to interior passenger space, for most Americans at least.

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Kyle Field has 1638 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Field

4 thoughts on “Tata Technology Seeks Silicon Valley EV Insights

  • How central is Silicon Valley in car electronics? Google and Apple are working on driverless cars, and the area has a lot if major software companies. But car microprocessors are mostly ARM, designed in Cambridge, England, and incorporated into SOCs in China, Korea and Taiwan. The hub of the motor sport industry is near Coventry, also in England. Tata can of course afford to fish in many ponds.

  • Also, Electric cars in India though desperately needed in India, will have a tough time gaining foothold because of the massive electrical energy deficits they have. A few hours of blackout everyday in most places is quite common.

    • The sun comes up daily. They can get solar powered supercharging stations.

      Have a few 100kWh Powerpacks for night time charging.

  • Tata should be putting in auto emergency braking in their trucks.

    The authorities there should put a tax on every truck that does not have it.

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