There's a new car in town. This one has all the usual functions, but an additional unique one - it can drive itself. You read that right! It's a self-driving car.
Designed by Roshy John, Practice Head at Tata Consultancy Services, the autonomous vehicle has been five years in the making. He opted to try out the sister company's product Tata Nano, the cheapest automobile in the world, as a guinea pig. Its rear-engined layout allows him to place an array of sensors in the front of the vehicle, Auto Evolution reported.
"It's a cute little car," John explains in his YouTube video.
Watch the driver-less car swoosh around:
So, how did John come up with this idea?
I really felt the need for a vehicle when I hired a taxi to go home from the airport late at night. And the driver was retired. I could see him dozing off behind the wheels and he was literally losing control of the vehicle. I had to make him sit in the rear seat and drive the vehicle by myself to reach home safely.
Getting the vehicle on Indian roads was a hassle. The chaotic traffic and ongoing construction didn't help. From tons of simulations, testing to making the concept work, John and his team faced a lot of hurdles getting the idea on track.
"I mounted cameras on real vehicles and made it drive on (sic) real cities to which would help us to tune the algorithm to make it work in real time," he said.
The best news? The team claims that they have created a system that could be incorporated into any vehicle in less than an hour. That's one hour of your life to get a seamless self-driving experience.