When the world is about to enter the fourth industrial revolution led by automation, there is an urgent need to bring technical disruptions to critical infrastructure in India. Vice-Chairman of GVK Group, GV Sanjay Reddy, says, “High-grade system automation is required especially in highways and railways to avoid disruption avoidance.” Recently, several countries across the world have introduced automation-led modernization of their critical infrastructure owing to the evolving needs.
In 2019, Rio Tinto in Australia completed the world’s first fully automated mainline rail network. The revolutionary step has already diminished the journey time while enhancing reliability and lowering operations cost. Conversely, manually maintaining the aging railway infrastructure in Japan is proving to be inefficient and costly. Consequently, Japan has been deploying artificial intelligence in railways and roads as well. To tackle the problem of the old infrastructure, the government had already made AI a top priority by investing at least $10 billion by now and is planning to cross $2 trillion mark by 2035. “Our railways have benefitted almost every aspect of our nation. From fostering the growth of industries to providing affordable journeys to our citizens, it has integrated the nation in many ways. But now, the railway infrastructure is highly saturated and it is the right time to bring in automation to the already multi-problem plagued system,” says GV Sanjay Reddy.
France has decided to invest around $2 billion by 2023 in artificial intelligence-associated industries. China and the US are spending way more than the world put together in the sector respectively. “Although our railways have improved both quantitatively and qualitatively, we still witness over dozens of cases of major accidents and hundreds of derailment cases every year. If we are to implement AI technology to it, we can identify the faults well in advance and such miss-happenings can be eliminated,” he adds. GV Sanjay Reddy also indicated a need to tackle the late running of trains problems. “The present regime has been focusing a lot on improving the railway service, implementation of advanced technology can help to eliminate the late-running problem. This will assist the railways holistically helping it to raise more revenues while reducing the running cost.”
While talking about roads, he said that India is one of the rapidly developing nations with highly advanced roads. “Implementation of such a technology can be very expensive and players in the road construction might hesitate in the beginning as it is a very cost sensitive sector. However, it is far more benefitting and profiting in the long run. Although intelligent and advanced road construction is gaining pace in India, there is a need to quantum leap it as soon as possible.” GVK Group has been considered as one of the leading players that have contributed to the process of nation-building. With the development of some of the most prominent highways, it has leveraged advanced technologies in the construction of roads for real-time data monitoring and predictive maintenance amongst other things.
In the past few years, upgradation in technologies in critical infrastructure has gained moment across the nation. With the initiatives of the government such as the ‘Digital India’ program and ‘Value Engineering Programme’ and active collaboration of the leading private entities such as the GVK Group, India is on the way to achieve its automation goals shortly. He said that such an objective will help India in serving the needs of the growing population by enhancing efficiency and eliminating redundancies. GV Sanjay Reddy is Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also the chairman of the National Committee on Infrastructure at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).