Bengaluru friends driven to build India’s first driverless car – Tata Nano Autonomous

CHENNAI: A few years ago, Bengaluru-based techie Roshy John was one his way home from the airport in a taxi when the sleepy driver almost ran into another vehicle.
John took the wheel and drove the driver and then himself home but the near-death experience got him thinking.

Five years later, he and his friends have developed India’s first driverless car Tata Nano Autonomous.

John, who is practice head, robotics and cognitive systems at TCS, and his 29-member team worked on the software and algorithms in their free time and created a 3-D model to test it.

The car is yet to be tested on the road, and John is hoping to get permission from the traffic police soon.

In 2011, John purchased a Nano to test the software. “The Tata Nano is considered an engineering marvel. What better car to test Indian technology than on a car made in India?” says John.

Across the world, Daimler, Nissan, General Motors, BMW, Google and Tesla are investing big bucks in developing driverless cars.

John used onboard diagnostics, a regular feature in most cars today, and a scanner to monitor the engine. “I had to get data from the car to make it accelerate or slow down based on the RPM,” explains John.

Creating an algorithm using a custom cluster (multiple computers), John and his team were able to read all parameters of the engine.