Hyderabad is on the brink of influencing the automotive industry’s future as autonomous, driverless cars are already navigating the internal roads of IIT-Hyderabad in Kandi village, just outside the city.
These autonomous shuttle cars, deployed over the last two months, transport students and faculty within the campus. They were fully developed from the ground up at IIT’s TiHAN center, which stands as India’s inaugural Autonomous Navigation Testbed facility for both aerial and terrestrial vehicles. After a year of testing, two of these autonomous vehicles are now operational on the campus, employing an array of sensors and related technologies, including a LiDAR-based navigation system.
Professor P Rajalakshmi, who is the director of the TiHAN center and a professor of electrical engineering at the institute, highlighted the extensive research and development that went into these vehicles. Data collection vehicles were dispatched into Hyderabad’s traffic to gather essential data for background research.
Aside from the autonomous shuttle, the center is actively working on a variety of automated vehicles, ranging from aerial to ground vehicles capable of navigating different terrains. These endeavors aim to provide sustainable and safe mobility solutions for the future, while also contributing to the development of national policy frameworks and standard operating procedures for autonomous and automated vehicles.
These shuttle cars find utility in controlled environments such as warehouses, campuses, and airports, offering not only sustainable automated solutions but also ensuring high levels of safety. The Indian government is already contemplating the implementation of secure systems for highway monitoring, further underscoring the growing role of automated mobility in shaping the future.