Autonomous cars are not science fiction anymore. Leading automobile giants, as well as tech giants, have joined the revolutionary race to build an autonomous car. There’s no doubt that autonomous cars have captured our imagination. The allure of sitting back, relaxing your car effortlessly whisks you around is undoubtedly tempting. But are they a possibility for India’s notoriously chaotic roads. A new tech startup from Kolkata thinks so.
Autonomous cars rely on special sensors and powerful onboard computers to drive. It’s hard to predict how soon the driver will become redundant thanks to some incredible breakthroughs in software. Through significant advances in machine learning, LIDAR, radar, computer vision, and real-time computational power, the technology industry is poised to tackle this challenge like never before.
Fisheyebox‘s Project Aerodrive is the first step into the new world of autonomous cars. They have converted a Maruti Celerio into a rudimentary autonomous car with a Rs.20 lakh budget and are looking for an investment to go to the next level.
Aerodrive has a voice recognition software which fires the K10 engine with a ‘START ENGINE’ voice command. There is no steering wheel in the car. A $2000 joystick is used to engage autonomous driving mode by pulling back and toggling a switch to select the autonomous mode. Aerodrive has a limited speed to 25kph as doesn’t have the capability to stop. It also has a manual mode. Push and pull movements of the super-sensitive joystick are to accelerate and brake, while side movements steer the vehicle. The Aerodrive Celerio navigates itself quite easily and precisely. It also has Pedestrian Detection Control (PDC) in which the camera picks up the pedestrian and signals Central Processing Unit (CPU) to bring the car to a gentle stop.
This car is far from being ready to be driven on public roads, and it’s not just about safety but it’s against the law as well. No doubt, a dramatic amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act will be needed to say that it’s safe to drive with your hands on the wheel. Theoretically, what Aerodrive has achieved is level 3 of autonomous driving. This is the breakthrough Audi has achieved with the all-new A8 which makes it perfectly safe to check your messages and even watch a video while on the move. Given the resources Fisheyebox has at its disposal, it’s truly incredible what this startup has pulled off which no Indian manufacturer has managed so far. It’s a case of Indian ingenuity at its best.
Future of a country is highly dependent on the students, so nurturing them is need of the hour. Theoretical knowledge very much differs with a practical orientation. Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff to turn our dreams into reality.