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  Indian self-driving car on the road soon

Indian self-driving car on the road soon

Published : Jun 3, 2016, 2:05 am IST
Updated : Jun 3, 2016, 2:05 am IST

An electric car has reached at PSG Tech to the finalists of the Mahindra Driverless Car Challenge to convert it into an autonomous car.

An electric car has reached at PSG Tech to the finalists of the Mahindra Driverless Car Challenge to convert it into an autonomous car.

Would you dare to sit in a car without a driver, fearlessly It may sounds frightening, but it is turning out to be true. Twenty students from PSG College of Technology are excited about an electronic car which they wish to turn into an autonomous car, a completely driverless car that could operate on Indian roads.

The Mahindra Driverless Car Challenge, as a part of Mahindra’s Spark the Rise programme, is an effort to bring technological innovations to the transportation industry to a whole new level. The competition mainly involves the development and implementation of an autonomous car, which can operate on Indian roads without a driver. The teams involved have to come up with the necessary technological solutions to realise this agenda on the Mahindra E2O automatic electric vehicle.

“We had applied for the challenge a year and a half ago. We had to go through four rounds; three of them were online tests and the last one was like an interview where all the 259 teams from all over the country were called to the Bengaluru office of Mahindra. We had to demonstrate a prototype, a miniature of the driverless car,” said H.R. Sanath Kumar, final year student from robotics and automation engineering at PSG Tech.

Team Pragyaan, from PSG College of Technology, is one of the 12 teams selected for the finals out of the initial 259 applicants. The team consists of a group of 20 students led by Sanath Kumar and deputy team leader Mohit Singhala, a final year student from mechanical engineering. They have been given a year’s time to transform it into an autonomous car.

“We received this electric car four days ago. We are going to use a set of sensors and coding. It works like a computer which drives the car. The sensors are all like human sense organs required for running a car. We are going to use 80 sensors and each has different function, camera, laser techniques etc.” he explained.

The team is mentored by Dr B. Vinod, head of the department, robotics and automation engineering, and a group of faculty advisors who have years of industry experience in the field of electrical, electronics and mechatronics engineering.

“A total of 672 teams consisting of 20 people had applied for the competition from all over the country. The instructions and guidelines to be followed are given by the Mahindra to build an autonomous car. We are the only team from Tamil Nadu to reach finals,” said Dr B. Vinod.

Once the final autonomous car is ready, the experts and jury members will make the car run in a city environment for testing.

The team has to ensure 100 per cent safety. If the car clears all the tests, it will be taken into the production unit.

“We are going to need Rs 50 lakh for R&D alone for this project. The features of this car would be ground zero level of autonomous mode, advance obstacle detection sensors, onboard sensors etc. If there is a scenario where the car has technically failed, the car itself would stop taking over any further,” said Sanath Kumar. The products and parts are sourced locally as well as from China.

The successful team would receive a prize amount of Rs 6.6 crore.

Location: India, Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore