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October 16, 2017 0

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.

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September 6, 2017 0

Elon Musk to pitch the revolutionary idea of hyperloop as a solution to a city’s traffic owes and to travel long distances hurtling through tubes at speeds approaching the sound barrier.On July 29, Hyperloop One completed a test on its full-scale test track in Nevada, with the Hyperloop pod traversing almost the entirety of the 1640-foot-long structure. The vehicle hit speeds of up to 192 miles per hour during the test, setting a new record for Hyperloop test speeds. Now India wants in on this too with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies which uses a crowd collaboration approach to develop a transportation system based on the Hyperloop concept.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
Just to give you an idea

The Andhra Pradesh government joined hands with the US-based company to introduce the futuristic “Hyperloop” transportation system in the state capital region, Amravati in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. Although the MOU has not disclosed the costs involved, it will be funded by private investors. If everything goes well, this will be the first Hyperloop project to be implemented in India.

During the initial phase, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will conduct a six-month feasibility study starting in October to create the best route between the two cities. This will also involve identifying potential stakeholders in the region. The Hyperloop will be constructed in the second phase.

An official release stated that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies chairman and co-founder Bibop Gresta felt delighted to have entered into the MoU with the State government to bring India’s first hyperloop and is looking forward to make it to contruction and commencement. Although a timeline has not been published yet.

HTT plans to build networks of tubes in South Korea, Slovakia, and Abu Dhabi. But to make all—or any—of that happen, the company’s 800 engineers must first master the practical aspects of the hyperloop. Apparently technology is not a issue but costs are. But, that seems good enough for the folks running Andhra Pradesh. “In order to boost its image and emerge as the frontier city in future technology, Amaravati is looking forward to collaborating with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies,” Krishna Kishore, CEO of the state’s economic development board, said in a statement. When fully operational, hyperloop could cover the distance between Amravati to Vijaywada in five minutes. (thats 35 kms)

Meanwhile, the competitors are pushing ahead. Hyperloop One, the mainstream favorite to deliver the transportation transformation, recently fired its 28-foot pod through a test tube at nearly 200 mph. Musk himself has decided to build his own hyperloop, and is testing his own design.But making the hyperloop work isn’t the real challenge here; the physics are quite straightforward. (Hurtling a pod in near vacuum with no resistance resulting in supersonic speeds). Even regulation may not be the toughest hurdle, as the companies can cherry pick routes where local powers are keen to host the future of travel. The real difficulty lies in making a transportation system that can compete on price and practicality with established airlines, train companies, and private cars.

However things pan out, India seems to be forward in the battlefield.

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