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January 28th, 2019 at 1:33 pm

India’s first solar-powered, driverless bus has made its maiden journey

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Students of Lovely Professional University (LPU) at Jalandhar has designed this bus with the uses of GPS and Bluetooth for navigation

Jalandhar (Urban Transport News): India’s first solar-powered, driverless bus made its maiden journey at the Indian Science Congress in last week Thursday. A team of students of Lovely Professional University (LPU) at Jalandhar has designed this bus with the uses of GPS and Bluetooth for navigation.

According to the project head Mandeep Singh, the camera installed on top of the bus allows for image processing. It senses the road pattern and the bus moves accordingly.

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“We have been working on this project for the last five years. Around 300 students, from departments of electronics, electrical and civil and mechanical engineering, have been part of it. It was a huge project and bringing everyone together itself was a huge challenge,” said Mandeep Singh.

In the trial runs, the bus rides smoothly. However, there is something about it that reminds you of a buggy. Pratham Mittal. Head of New Initiatives at LPU said that buggy meant for airports and estate roads where the traffic is limited. The bus comes with sensors in the front, back, and sides. In case there is an obstacle on the way, it will stop automatically. It will start beeping from a distance of 10 metres.

The bus can be used as an ordinary bus whenever there is no network available on the route. It can be driven using the manual transmission option like a normal bus. If you thinking about the price, it will cost Rs 6 lakh. It has a neatly designed cabin for the driver.

According to the project team, the project has been a great learning experience for them. They said that they are not doing this for money, they are doing it so our students can learn. They want them to benefit out of it.

“Right now, we are not planning for commercialization. We cannot ride it on the roads now. We have to get a bunch of licenses from the highway authorities, road authorities and vehicle authorities. We may apply for these licenses later. But that will take some time,” said Mittal. He believes that educational institutions should cater to the needs of the industry.

”The university and the industry should go hand in hand. Usually, there is a divide between these two. You learn something in the university, and the industry requires something else. Projects like the driverless bus bring educational institutions closer to the industry,” Mittal added.

”Engineering students should not confine themselves to bookish knowledge. They should get their hands dirty. Projects like this, where the students get opportunities to build something that can be commercialized and patented, add value to their portfolio and make it easier for them to find jobs in the future,” he further added.

The 25 innovative vehicles developed by the LPU team were first time seen at the Delhi Auto Expo 2014, which included self-parking, smart hybrid, and cryogenic engine cars. The team of young innovators have plans to come up with more evolved driverless vehicles that can be used on city roads in future.

Via Urban Transport News

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