Driverless Rickshaws May Soon Be A Reality In India, Thanks To New Research At IIIT-Delhi

driverless rickshaw

Driverless auto-rickshaws have been on many people’s minds ever since the episode ‘Hang The DJ’ from Black Mirror was released. The story revolves around a couple in a dystopian walled-off ‘System’ who volunteer for trial romantic relationships. While the episode itself garnered positive reviews, a driverless rickshaw shown in a few scenes also piqued many people’s interest.

Now, it seems that a driverless autonomous shuttle vehicle has almost turned into a reality in India.


Sign up for your weekly dose of what's up in emerging technology.

The Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Delhi is working on a driverless autonomous electric rickshaw to provide last-mile connectivity to urban Indians. Slated to run on pre-defined routes, this nifty thing would first only shuttle between points inside the university campus, helping students reach from bus stops and metro stations to the desired building.

Mayank Vatsa, head of Infosys Centre for Artificial Intelligence at IIIT-Delhi, who is heading the project told a news wire:

Download our Mobile App

“It will do autonomous static obstacle avoidance, lane following, read basic traffic signals, follow speed limits, and navigate through a 3D map… Our choice of vehicle platform is an electric rickshaw, and currently, we are working on providing shuttle service within the IIIT-Delhi campus. We are also hoping to replicate the above on Mahindra’s electric car which we received from the company as part of the Mahindra Rise Driverless Car Challenge.”

Vatsa, along with Dr Sanjit Kaul, Dr Saket Anand, Dr PB Sujit and a group of Ph.d students of the institution are working on the project. To keep the cost per shuttle low, the team is also planning to leverage state-of-the-art computational techniques that enables reducing the cost of sensing hardware needed for each of these vehicles.

The project began in April 2016 when the artificial intelligence research centre of the institute was founded. Now IIIT-Delhi also has a course that provides hands-on-experience in implementing several modules of autonomous driving through software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop. The project-based course also covers modules on perception, path planning, and vehicle control for autonomous driving. The course is mainly designed towards implementation and hence intensive programming is involved in C++ or Python. The course will use Mahindra e20 and rickshaw as the hardware testbeds.

More Great AIM Stories

Prajakta Hebbar
Prajakta is a Writer/Editor/Social Media diva. Lover of all that is 'quaint', her favourite things include dogs, Starbucks, butter popcorn, Jane Austen novels and neo-noir films. She has previously worked for HuffPost, CNN IBN, The Indian Express and Bose.

AIM Upcoming Events

Regular Passes expire on 3rd Mar

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
Rising 2023 | Women in Tech Conference
16-17th Mar, 2023

Early Bird Passes expire on 17th Feb

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
Data Engineering Summit (DES) 2023
27-28th Apr, 2023

Conference, Virtual
Deep Learning DevCon 2023
27 May, 2023

3 Ways to Join our Community

Telegram group

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Discord Server

Stay Connected with a larger ecosystem of data science and ML Professionals

Subscribe to our Daily newsletter

Get our daily awesome stories & videos in your inbox

What went wrong with Meta?

Many users have opted out of Facebook and other applications tracking their activities now that they must explicitly ask for permission.