June 12, 2017


Indian creator of $3,500 self-driving car: "Reaching Level 5 autonomy will take a decade in India" (ABHIMANYU GHOSHAL, 6/12/17, Next Web)

Back in 2010, when [Dr. Roshy John] was taking a cab home from the airport late at night in Kochi, he noticed that the driver was sleepy and driving callously as a result. That's when he decided to look into creating a solution so people wouldn't have to risk their lives to earn a living, and so passengers would be able to count on a safe ride home.

Over the next few years, John independently took upon the task of building a self-driving system from scratch.

Working with a team of engineers from his firm, John began, as people do with most robotics projects, by creating a simulation of the vehicle driving around a virtual city with roads, obstacles and conditions that human drivers encounter in the real world.

Next John's team set to work gather data from the field by mounting cameras onto real cars and driving the vehicles around town and on highways.

He then bought a Tata Nano, a tiny $3,500 hatchback that's barely 122 inches long, and took it apart so he could figure out how to steer and control the manual-transmission car remotely. John fitted it with sensors, actuators and cameras, as well as a system to automatically handle the steering, gas, brakes and gearbox.

The next step was to make the entire setup modular, so it could be fitted onto other cars quickly and deployed into tests on real roads as soon as the opportunities presented themselves.

Speaking to TNW at NASSCOM's Drive with IoT event last week, John, who's now the Global Practice Head at TCS, said that the company has now managed to achieve Level 4 autonomy with its driverless technology, and has made some strides in Level 5 autonomy (fully self-driving). It's now developing this tech further for clients including Tata Motors (which owns brands like Jaguar and Land Rover).

Posted by at June 12, 2017 9:13 AM