- The startup is in the business of building fully autonomous vehicles.
Minus Zero Jalandhar-based, the self-driving startup has successfully tested its first demo prototype in unregulated Indian traffic in Jalandhar, and with that, it has become the first company in India to do so on urban road. The teamwork worked hard for 4 months and got succeeded in converting the three-wheeler auto into a driverless vehicle that drove itself 2km on road at an average speed of 20 km/h on roads that had medium traffic.
The video of the demo drive can be viewed here –https://youtu.be/wFckSLW_Gjk
Set up amidst the pandemic by Gagandeep Reehal and Gursimran Kalra, Minus Zero is India’s first startup that is building an affordable self-driving vehicle in the country, pioneering in indigenous Level 5 autonomy tech with highly energy-efficient and proprietary nature-inspired AI that is less dependent on extensive data & costly sensor suite (like LIDAR’s, etc.), with vehicles expected to be able to drive autonomously in highly unstructured and disorganized traffic scenarios like India’s.
In November 2020 the startup acquired Fermi Center for Applied Sciences, which nurtures frugal innovation in India. So far The startup could raise funds from Nividea Inception the funding amount is undisclosed. This is only funding the startup received till now.
According to the Grand View Research Report, “The global autonomous vehicle market is estimated to reach at 6.7 thousand units in 2020 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 63.1% from 2021 to 2030.”
Gagandeep Reehal, co-founder at Minus Zero said, “ We tested the autonomous vehicle designed by us on 1 April between 2:00 to 4:00 pm in presence of a technician. The technician was sitting behind in the passenger compartment of the rickshaw to manually override the control from software in case of an anomaly,” said Gagandeep Reehal, co-founder at Minus Zero.
According to Reehal, the company’s perception algorithms do not depend on lane markings for road detection, making it possible to drive autonomously even on roads in bad condition. It also doesn’t use expensive sensor suites, such as long-range LIDARs even at night. “You do not show a human baby 10,000 images of birds to make him capable of knowing that there is a bird in front of him,” Reehal said.