A coronavirus-induced acceleration of robotics and automation appears to be taking place in China. There are a number of forces driving this catalysis in automation technologies.
Firstly, the Chinese government and its policies are playing a central role. This will be particularly reflected in the unprecedented spending on “new infrastructure” as a response to the pandemic.
Secondly, the technologies and related-industries targeted by the government’s new infrastructure agenda are critical components.
Finally, there has also been a swift acceleration of changes occurring with consumer demands and business needs.
The impact of Covid-19 has changed many manufacturers’ attitude towards digital transformation. Coming out of the crisis, manufacturers more readily embraced automation to digitally transform their businesses.
New trends are emerging for the future of manufacturing, including predictive AI and shared manufacturing.
Covid-19 has also provided new opportunities for businesses to test their autonomous vehicle technologies, particularly in goods movement.
Major e-commerce providers have been leading the charge to experiment in using autonomous vehicles in delivery. Development of AV technology for people movement in China follows closely on the heels of goods movement.
Intelligent manufacturing and autonomous vehicles are just two areas out of many in China. For players that emerge as manufacturing and delivery become increasingly automated, they must experiment in order to find a path towards monetization.
For those in manufacturing and autonomous vehicles, China is a critical piece of the puzzle in designing what the next generation of businesses incorporating automation will look like for these areas.
Indeed, all players will need to build new capabilities outside of their core businesses, through a combination of internal initiatives and partnerships, which could lead to wider ecosystems.