Self driving cars and news about them has been all over the internet for a while now. Stories about self driving cars range from them being tested to being crashed (car's fault) to police officers trying to fine the car's computers for driving too slow.
All this news is majority from the US. How would it sound if I told you that a man from India has beat Google, Nissan, Audi, Mercedes, and all other companies working on autonomous cars, by building one and driving it on the Indian Streets? The truth is it has been done (sorry Google!).
Roshy John, who is Head of Robotics and Cognitive Systems at Tata Consultancy Services in Kerala, has managed to build a self-driving car, just to show that it can be done. Roshy got the idea of building a self-drive car one night when he took a cab ride from the airport.
During the cab ride, the already tired Roshy noticed that the cab driver was even more tired and drove the cab himself, to make sure he and the driver were safe. That ride gave him the the idea and motivation to build a self-driving car.
Roshy chose to build the autonomous car based on a Tata Nano, not because it's cheap, but because it has a rear mounted engine. This allowed Roshy to place the very important sensors at the front of the car.
Roshy fine tuned the car's sensors to achieve the precision needed to drive on Indian roads, since obstacles range from a parked bus to a confused dog on the road. Roshy and his team used cameras and simulations to gather data, and finally, the car was ready to be put to the ultimate test on the road.
One minor drawback Roshy and his team had was that during simulation, the Tata Nano was envisioned to be a car with automatic transmission, but in real life, the car had a manual gearbox. The team overcame that tiny hurdle, and forward they went to test the car.
Roshy and his team claim that the new self-driving system can be incorporated into any car, to make them autonomous. Still not sure about how reliable the ‘Make In India' autonomous car is? Take a look at the video in the next slide!
Here is the video of Roshy John's story of building the self-drive Nano.