The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) may have been rebranded as the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), but the institute says its core focus on the automotive industry hasn’t changed despite the expansion of its scope.

According to MARii CEO Datuk Madani Sahari, the role and responsibilities of the agency – which is under the purview of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) – remains identical to that prior to the renaming, with the new inclusions to the portfolio meant to help develop the country’s automotive sector to meet future needs and demands.

The expansion will add on the institute’s coverage in areas such as overall mobility, including intelligent transportation systems and related services through the adoption of robotics and the internet of things (IoT), and MARii will be looking into enhancing the development and application of these.

“The automotive sector is one of, if not the main driver of robotics and IoT, especially within the manufacturing and services sector of the future. The sheer scale and competitive environment of the sector demands the need for new technologies that will bring a higher value of cost efficiency, productivity and even eco-sustainability,” he said.

In a presentation earlier today to industry players, academics and government bodies at the MARii headquarters in Cyberjaya, Madani said that the adoption of these two fast growing areas are expected to become a fundamental requirement for the automotive industry in the coming future.

He said that MARii, working with MITI, is looking to unlock new avenues in accelerating the adoption of robotic and IoT within the automotive sector, and he hoped that the the various stakeholders will take a more proactive role in helping elevate the local industry towards global competitiveness.

“We look forward to greater collaboration between MARii and all relevant stakeholders in creating a technology eco-system that will bring about a multitude of societal benefits at all levels,” he said, adding that the institute is also looking at creating technology spin-offs and applications in other areas and fields.

Madani said that the information gained through this strategic research will provide the necessary input and recommendations to the government, with the ultimate objective being to spur new job and business opportunities.