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View from India: From 5G to hyperloops, NI looks ahead

The development in the auto and space technology in India is cutting edge. NIDays 2017, the annual flagship event of National Instruments (NI) showcased a range of space and vehicle technologies that are of global competence.

National Instruments offers testing solutions that range from software testing to actual physical testing for the auto world. Its latest innovation for the auto industry integrates multiple technologies and solutions like sensors, wireless, touch to devices. Its purpose is two-fold; it provides advanced safety systems to assist drivers and helps in fuel efficiency.

Vehicle Radar Test System (VRTS) is the newest from the portfolio. Built on a flexible software and modular hardware platform, VRTS is designed to simulate scenarios ranging from a pedestrian walking across the street to lane-change driving. Simply put, VRTS helps engineers to build smarter, highly customised test systems to verify automotive radar sensor performance.

“Over the years, we have partnered with local and global experts in our Alliance programme, constantly striving to innovate and evolve with every challenge and opportunity that comes our way. With technology growing sooner that predicted, it is inspiring to see all the future-ready innovation and products at this year’s NIDays,” said Jayaram Pillai, managing director – IndRAA, National Instruments, addressing the media at the 14th edition of the NIDays 2017 in Bangalore.

NI is the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve engineering challenges at a global level. Software and hardware combine along with an open Application Program Interface (API) that connects to any technology for diverse applications.

Among the forthcoming offerings showcased at the event what stood out is the Hyperloop system, which is said to offer large-scale application in aerospace. Backed by what NI calls Big Analog Data analytics, Hyperloop can cover distances at a speed which is faster than aeroplanes. A beginning will be made with train cargos before it is put to passenger use.

What made NIDays interesting is its Trend Watch 2018 segment, which threw light on the technological advances of the future along with its challenges. “We need to watch out for Internet of Things (IoT) as it will impact over 90 per cent of companies. Sensors will be connected much more than before and verticals like agriculture will be influenced by IoT as much as less explored areas like space tourism,” said Shelley Gretlein, NI vice president of corporate marketing.

Besides IoT, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is another industry trend to watch out for. Particularly so because reams of data is collected in large corporations, yet very little of it is put to use. But now with the IIoT platform backed by an ecosystem comprising software configuration, data management and remote system management, IIoT can be leveraged to make informed business decisions.

The event also saw the launch of the Machine Learning or ML Kit, which as demonstrated is the outcome of automated engineering insights with ML. Its algorithms and Big Analog Data can compute for predictive maintenance like engineering validation and manufacturing testing.

NI invests over 16 per cent of its revenue towards research and development (R&D) and 5G is one of the areas that the company has been researching on since 2010. Most of the work is in the testbed stage in India. “We have invested in 5G and its commercial deployment is coming close. 5G is essential because it increases frequency bandwidths and it is predicted to disrupt test processors. Besides, connected vehicles also require 5G,” explained Gretlein.

NIDays unveiled a suite of new products, like the LabVIEW NXG 1.0, designed to bridge the gap between configuration-based software and custom programming languages. There’s also the ATE Core Configurations, which supply core mechanical, power and safety infrastructure to help users accelerate the design of automated test systems in industries ranging from semiconductor and consumer electronics to aerospace and automotive industry.

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