Driverless cars are the future if companies like Google are to be believed. Nearly all major car companies, including tech giants like Apple, are involved in researching autonomous cars. In the meantime, here in India, a man has successfully managed to make his Tata Nano autonomous. Dr. Roshy John has posted a video of his driverless Nano, and we must say it looks impressive.
In the video, spotted by AutoEvolution, John reveals how he was inspired to build an autonomous car after a taxi ride one late night. John noticed that the taxi driver was tired and was dozing at the wheel, and offered to drive the cab home, and has since then been working on the idea of driverless cars.
John and his team chose the Tata Nano because it is one of the few cars out there with an engine fitted at the back. This setup allowed them to add all the necessary sensors up front. Unlike the areas where Google tests its driverless cars, the road and traffic conditions in India are much worse and unpredictable. The team kept working on its sensors, and also mounted cameras on their standard cars to ‘fine tune the algorithm’.
After running multiple simulations, eventually the car was ready to be tested on the roads. A brand new Nano was stripped down to its essentials and equipment like cameras, sensors and actuators among others were added to make the car autonomous. The final result is a working system, which the team claims can be fitted into just about any car in less than an hour.
The five minute video shows John and his team’s journey in creating the autonomous system, and we must say it is impressive. It is too much to expect car companies to adopt this system onto their cars any time soon. But John and his team have shown the way for Indian companies to join the global race in creating the cars of the future.
Check out the driverless Tata Nano video below.