Soon, driverless cars to turn into a reality for Indians

By: Talat Mohsin

In one of the most ambitious projects to ever be announced, researchers and scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and engineers from Wipro have joined hands to develop driverless cars for Indian roads. The cars are expected to roll out in March 2020.

The car is being developed keeping in mind the average road conditions in India. Generally, Indian roads are filled with potholes, cattle and traffic. The traffic rules are also not followed and the drivers drive their cars irresponsibly.

“In Europe or the US, there is discipline. There is laned traffic. Here, nobody bothers- you have humans, cycles, autos going. If we have an autonomous vehicle in these conditions it has to take care of all these factors, plus, the zero infrastructure, the potholes and the fact that everything is random,” said Prof AG Ramakrishnan from the department of electrical engineering at IISc, key investigator in the project.

The initiative is a part of the ongoing three year old project at WIPRO, where data from European and American roads was being analysed for development of a suitable autonomous vehicle for the roads. The data from these roads could not be used for India as unsurprisingly, the conditions are not at all the same. Hence, the researchers have come up with “cutting edge” algorithms that are specific to Indian roads.

According to the team members, every component of the car is being built from scratch. The total number of members from this project is 200, which includes professors from six different IISc departments. For collecting raw material, an autonomous car is being run on Bengaluru roads for the past six months.

Neuromorphic computer chips will be used in the cars to mimic neural processing of the brain and use less power in favour of a high power computer system. 28 censors will be put on the car.

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