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Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. will foray into driverless technology in tractors, with the first launch slated for March next year.
"M&M would be the first company to launch driverless tractors in the country, but would do so in a staggered manner," Managing Director Pawan Goenka told reporters on Tuesday.
He added that the first launch would house only an automated steering assist. The fully driverless product could see light of day by the end of 2018 and eventually be available on all its tractor options, ranging from 20 HP models to 100 HP products.
The company is hoping to launch the 20 HP models at just under Rs 1 lakh. India being a cost-sensitive market, the manufacturer expects only 5-7 percent of total tractor sales to come from driverless versions in about five years. Overall, volume growth in the tractor segment is likely to continue at 8 percent over the next few years, as has been the case over the recent past, Goenka said.
India's largest tractor manufacturer by volume, with a market share of over 50 percent, showcased prototypes in the driverless segment, saying it had collaborated with several technology companies for this initiative, including overseas players.
Speaking about the company's efforts on electrification, he said research and development into electric tractors is currently at preliminary stages, and that the company was focussing primarily on passenger vehicles with that technology.
The company on Monday announced a tie-up with Ford Motor Co. to explore vehicles powered by electricity.

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