10 IIT Gandhinagar Students Create Fully Automated Driverless Vehicle

10 IIT Gandhinagar Students Create Fully Automated Driverless Vehicle

The vehicle was developed as part of the course on Autonomous Vehicles. The students successfully turned the electric golf cart into a driverless vehicle capable of navigating the campus from the hostels to the academic area autonomously.

Siksha MUpdated: Saturday, May 11, 2024, 10:44 AM IST
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Student at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) have developed a fully automatic and functional driverless vehicle. This autonomous vehicle can easily be operated without a driver. 

The 10 fourth-year BTech students, comprising nine from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and one from Chemical Engineering have developed this autonomous vehicle.

The vehicle was developed as part of the course on Autonomous Vehicles. The students successfully turned the electric golf cart into a driverless vehicle capable of navigating the campus from the hostels to the academic area autonomously.

The students set out to develop this vehicle in January 2024. 

The vehicle was made with a total budget of approximately Rs 65,000 (excluding vehicle and computer)

The vehicle has been equipped with sensors including a regular camera, a depth camera, and lidar. The students have also added a series of hardware modifications comprising a steering mechanism, braking mechanism, acceleration control system as well as algorithms including computer vision algorithms and automatic control algorithms in this vehicle.

These modifications have made the vehicle capable of being fully automatic. This covers tasks including lane detection, obstacle detection, automatic steering control, and automatic braking and acceleration. 

The students have successfully tested the automatic vehicle in real-life conditions on the roads of the IITGN campus. Additionally, considering the safety of the campus residents as well as the vehicle, they undertook several safety measures by incorporating multiple backup systems, manual overrides, and emergency stops. For the initial testing, the speed was maintained at a safe 7 kmph. 

On the stydents’ achievement, the instructor of the course, Prof Harish P M said, “The students have done an extraordinary job. They took on such a challenging task that involves real-world implementation of multiple advanced technologies with a high level of reliability and have demonstrated successful implementation with so much complexity involved in such a short amount of time.” 

“Autonomous cars are quickly maturing and it will not be long before we see them in airports, campuses, malls, and other controlled environments before seeing them on all roads,” he further added. 

Saniya Patwardhan, a student who worked on the project said, “The experience of working on this project was wonderful and enriching. It was a long project which required a lot of dedication and meticulous planning.” Delving on some of the challenges faced during the course of the project, she remarked, “Using the existing lab resources and making the best out of them was challenging as well as rewarding.”      

Rahul Pai, another student who was part of the project stated, “Being a part of this project has been an incredible journey of learning and growth. From implementing theory ingeniously, to collaborating with a wonderful team, every step has been fulfilling. Witnessing our vehicle navigate through the roads autonomously after all the hard work we did was gratifying.”

The students overcome several obstacles to achieve their vision of a self-driving car via their commitment and hard work. 

The students are also positive that other college groups around the nation will be able to be challenged to an autonomous automobile race by future student groups working on this vehicle.

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