Published On: Tue, Feb 9th, 2016

Nitin Gadkari lauds Gurgaon’s Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz for Its Driverless Vehicle-Novus Drive at Auto Expo 2016

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari witnessed the driverless operation of Novus-Drive at the Auto Expo, Greater Noida. He lauded the The Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz Ltd (THRSL) team for developing the Driverless vehicle and wished them luck for future endeavours. At the Auto Expo the home-grown 14 seater Driver-less shuttle manufactured by THRSL is on ferrying visitors from one pavillion to other. Novus-Drive is the first driverless shuttle in the country. The vehicle has the capacity to seat 14 people, it can autonomously navigate on its own with its high fidelity sensors and robust algorithms for path planning and navigation. The vehicle is indigenously manufactured at the THRSL’s Gurgaon facility. It’s a complete made in India product with all its research and development having taken place in Gurgaon.

Among other features , a feature which makes it a favourite is its battery run mechanism i.e. the vehicle is 100% environment friendly and runs 150 kilometers per charge. The safety features include autonomous emergency braking.

Driverless Shuttle

The vehicle is having 3 dimensional LiDAR sensors along with stereo vision cameras and GPS INS. The 3D Lidar maps the entire environment and creates a 3D reconstruction of the environment to take decisions for autonomous navigation and path planning. The stereo camera vision also creates video feeds with depth information for making out the traversable and non-traversable path. The vehicle autonomously navigates by creating an obstacle map, which further detects the roads, pavements, pedestrians and other vehicles on the path. This information is used by the plan the path of the vehicle with AI based path planners of the vehicle to dynamically and completely autonomously.The user can enter the destination over a tablet mounted on the vehicle. Once the destination is entered the vehicle starts its journey. It reaches the destination without any hiccups, pausing and moving according to the direction and road congestion.

These vehicles have been manufactured mainly for commuting in controlled atmosphere and is best suited for Intra-university travel, large office campus, elderly health care communities, trade fair and theme parks along with the upcoming smart cities. The vehicle is a first of its kind manufactured in India. The Hi-Tech Robotic Systems Limited (THRSL) was founded in late 2004. THRSL is India’s pioneering company in the field of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.The Company has successfully developed and commercialized a wide range of robotic products catering to the needs of Defence, homeland security & Industrial Sectors. Over the last few years, a talent pool from premier institutes of the world is working in THRSL. The company has invested an undisclosed huge amount in R&D for developing Industrial Robots, Defence Robots and Driverless Vehicles.

A visibly pleased Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways said, ” I am delighted to witness this driver less vehicle. This vehicle is not only a made in India vehicle but it also addresses the environmental concerns. It gives me immense pleasure to see that the young generation is involved in the R&D of this project, I wish them luck for their future endeavor.

Talking about the success story of THRSL and the AGV, Mr. Anuj Kapuria, Director & CEO, The Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz Limited (THRSL) said, ‘I left my PHD midway to form this company in India, Robotics and automation were my passion and I chose them to be my profession. We have brought out is the first driver-less vehicle which is completely made in India from research to technology and Novus Drive would revolutionize the transport in large campuses and townships. Its success will pave for more driver-less vehicles from us.”

Important features:

1. Complete self driving capabilities

2. Autonomous navigation based on high fidelity sensors 3d Lidar, localization sensors with advanced perception and obstacle detection algorithms

3. Emergency behaviors and autonomous emergency braking

4. 14 seater capacity

5. App based seat reservation and destination selection

6. On-demand booking at pre designated stops

7. Battery operated, environment friendly Noise free

8. Runs 150 kms per charge

9. The user can enter the destination over a tablet mounted on the vehicle.

10. The Novus Drive( driver -less shuttle) works on the technology of Artificial Intelligence. It works on path planning and obstacle avoidance through machine driven algorithms.

11. Novus Drive is Capable of sensing the environment, performing intelligent manoeuvres for autonomous navigation & passenger interaction for carrying passengers.

12. The user can enter the destination over a tablet mounted on the vehicle. Once the destination is entered the vehicle starts its journey.The Driverless shuttle can be connected with an mobile apps, with which we can call the driverless shuttle whenever required.

13. Hitech Robotics is open to both upfront sales and renting of Novus Drive. The cost will be deployment specific. The company foresees a rise in demand for public rapid transit systems and plans in-house production of Novus Drive.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade.