3 KGPians, Nalin Gupta, Jit Ray Chowdhury and Srinivas Reddy launched Auro Robotics, an extension of their work on self-driving shuttles to the campus market. The team was part of IIT Kharagpur Robotics Research Group and Y-Combinator.
Auro Shuttles uses latest technology to ensure safe navigation even on busy roads. The driver-less shuttles for in-campus travel would reduce operating cost by 40-60% (by removing driver cost and being powered by electricity). The shuttles can be used 24x7 and in all weather operation. No special rails or dedicated pathways are required for its operation. The vehicle is equipped with Lasers, camera, Radar and GPS providing it complete 360 degree vision under all environment situations. The shuttles relies on a prior 3D map of the environment, which is created once in the lifetime at the beginning. In all subsequent runs, it uses this 3D map to localise itself and interpret road topography. Passengers can input their destinations through a simple to use touch screen mounted on the vehicle, or through their mobile app. The underlying software automatically figures out the optimum high-level route to reach safely to the destination.
Such driverless shuttles can be used at University Campuses, Theme Parks, Retirement Community, Golf Carts, Mini buses etc. Auro Prime is a complete self driving vehicle equipped with all autonomous driving features. It includes:
Obstacle detection and collision avoidance
Road & lane detection and following
Pedestrian detection and avoidance
Emergency braking system
Adaptive speed control, as per the traffic situation
Traffic signs & signal recognition, and following
The company has recently received funding of USD 2 million from Motus Ventures. Rothenberg Ventures also participated in the funding round. “The time is now for self-driving shuttles,” said Nalin Gupta, CEO of Auro Robotics. “Motus Ventures provides us with unparalleled industry expertise and connections to help us scale autonomy in the automotive market right away. With their help, we will apply ongoing technology advancements to bring the extensive benefits of self-driving transportation to many more campuses and beyond.”