Driverless cars is not an unrealistic concept anymore and India is not behind in the race either. AuRo is an ambitious startup started by a bunch of IITians who are on the verge of launching India’s first driverless car. A research group of 30 people from IIT Khragpur, these guys here at AuRo have been working on autonomous vehicles from the past 4 years and finally their efforts have started to pay off. They are presently helping some of the leading automobile companies in building autonomous driving systems and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) for their cars.
Most of the automobile companies and even Google are fighting over automated passenger cars and urban mobility today; and team AuRo feels it is in the right time, with the right product. Tech conferences, investor meets, workshops or science conventions, AuRo is giving its 100% to promote its products and gain the limelight it deserves.
Currently they are working on a ‘Driverless Shuttle’ which can replace manually driven carts and mini buses in university and company campuses, large industrial sites, theme parks and gated residential communities. The shuttle uses radars and lasers to determine its path and recognize the obstacles on its way. A high quality camera and a GPS system are also present to make the travel experience more smooth and safe. Though AuRo had the engineering to realize its Driverless Shuttle, it could really use a designer’s insight over its vehicle design and also use an impressive visual representation of its amazing concept. We are glad AuRo considered Launchpad Academy to help them with their design needs. Nalin Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Auro had a small chat with us over the phone and the next thing we know, our office shutter was open on a Sunday too!
Arjun Moger, one of our associate faculty formed a team of 3 comprising two of our students. The team sat down with Nalin, understood the whole Driverless Shuttle concept, listened to Nalin’s ideas and discussed if they could provide Nalin what he wants. Here is a brief on the design development process of India’s first driverless car by AuRo with Launchpad Academy’s assistance.
In the image, Part A is a bubble themed concept which is centered around a couch like interior with curved seats and open windows. The couch concept was designed so that commuters could interact more when seated opposite to each other. But since Nalin’s prime focus was on basic transportation and not the interaction of the commuters, the team came up with Part B. This boxy concept was based on Nalin’s suggestion that he wanted a cost effective vehicle that could accommodate more people and that could be manufactured with easily available materials. The outward mounted seats was an attempt to accommodate more people and use the available space to the fullest extent.
Part E in Image 2 are just a few of the numerous iterations of Part B and the design was inspired by Volkswagen Beetle.
Since the Driverless Shuttle would be used for small distances, comfort was a lesser priority when compared to accommodating more people. Hence Nalin’s suggestion was to take out the seats and make the interior more spacious, open and safe (Part C). The concept was further improvised by taking a school bus as an inspiration and taking away all the unwanted support structures in between, and including them only in the corners. The roof was given special emphasis this time and Nalin gave a go on the hard shelled top.
The above shown finalized concept was sketched and then rendered in Photoshop and finally Nalin could see AuRo’s future Driverless Shuttle on the computer screen! That day AuRo got one more step closer to its dreams! It was almost 11 in the night, Nalin was extremely pleased with Launchpad Academy and its talented students who helped him realize the design he wanted, in a single day!
Though we Launchpad Academy are an educational startup, we couldn’t be more privileged to be a part of something so unique and phenomenal in India, nation’s first driverless car! Because that’s what startups do, believe in startups first and foremost, help each other and take the startup revolution in India to new heights! And moreover, our Diploma in Car Design students wouldn’t have gotten a better opportunity than this to showcase their skills and knowledge gained from the course, an opportunity to help design India’s first driverless car!
Our Student Royce De Souza’s Take On The Driverless Car
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