RaaS and the New American Challenge

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1Q 2018 | IN-5056


Global Competition, Particularly from China


Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber’s seminal and much-vaunted 1967 book, The American Challenge, is insightful in light of today’s robotics industry. In his book, Servan-Schreiber describes how American businesses like IBM and General Motors were outcompeting their European counterparts, and that American technological know-how and entrepreneurial spirit would leave Europe behind. This was a warning to Europeans that American capital represented a long-term challenge to their economic competitiveness.

Servan-Schreiber’s warning still resonates, but the roles have changed. It is the Americans who routinely worry about the effectiveness of other countries in outcompeting American rivals, especially as it relates to advanced technology. This particularly relates to China and its push to compete and eventually dominate in a variety of fields, including quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

Robotics stands out as a key market where America has been conspicuously limited in its influence. This is in stark contrast to most other key t…

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