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IIT-Kharagpur students develop driverless shuttles

Self-driving shuttles for in-campus travel, designed by a team of students from IIT-Kharagpur’s Robotics Research Group, would reduce operating costs by 40 to 60 percent, a statement from the institute said on Friday.

Powered by electricity, Auro Shuttles, launched by Nalin Gupta, Jit Ray Chowdhury and Srinivas Reddy of the Group and Y-Combinator, uses latest technology to ensure safe navigation even on busy roads. It eliminates the cost of a driver.

“The shuttle can be used 24x7 and in all weather conditions. No special rails or dedicated pathways are required for its operation. The vehicle is equipped with lasers, camera, radar and global positioning system (GPS). The shuttles rely on a prior 3D map of the environment. It uses this 3D map to localise itself and interpret road topography,” the statement said.

Passengers can feed in destinations through a touch screen mounted on the vehicle, or through their mobile app.

The underlying software automatically figures out the optimum high-level route to reach the destination safely, the statement said.
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