Minus Zero, an Indian company co-founded by Gagandeep Reehal and Gursimran Kalra in 2021, unveiled India’s first fully autonomous vehicle on its Z-Day 2023. The event took place at the Embassy TechVillage in Bengaluru and was attended by industry experts and esteemed guests. The autonomous vehicle, capable of achieving Level 5 autonomy, has the ability to drive without a steering wheel and navigate various environmental and geographical constraints.
During the event, Minus Zero’s founders introduced their proprietary technological innovations, Nature Inspired AI (NIA) and True Vision Autonomy (TVA), which were crucial in designing and developing autonomous vehicles. They highlighted the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) and demonstrated the AI capabilities in specially curated experience zones. The concept vehicle, called ZPod, was driven autonomously using True Vision Autonomy.
Minus Zero’s approach, Nature-Inspired AI (NIA), is inspired by the physics-aware vision and the decision-making capabilities of the human brain. They emphasized that NIA is efficient in handling real-world road scenarios, unlike traditional AI. The company released a whitepaper at the event, outlining the principles of safe and scalable adoption of AI-driven mobility, which is available for public viewing.
The current autonomous vehicle industry faces challenges such as expensive hardware, extensive data requirements, and navigating through complex traffic conditions and infrastructure. Minus Zero said that its nature-inspired algorithm addresses these challenges by providing real-time low-power processing, adaptability to uncertain or chaotic real-road conditions, and eliminating the need to re-learn driving for different use cases, geographies, or vehicles.
The company believes that its True Vision Autonomy (TVA) approach is the safest and most scalable solution for autonomous driving. TVA is vehicle agnostic and relies solely on cameras as its sensor suite. The zPod concept vehicle demonstrated the capabilities of TVA by navigating real-world scenarios, including overtaking, blind turns, and vehicle following, without human intervention.
Minus Zero aims to disrupt the mobility sector by providing safe autonomous vehicle solutions and addressing the pain points of the current mobility paradigm. The CEO, Gagandeep Reehal, highlighted the vision autonomy in reducing accidents and economic losses associated with human-driven vehicles. The company’s innovations offer a blank canvas for automotive OEMs, allowing them to explore new design possibilities and redefine mobility as a user-focused experiential design, the statement added.
In the near term, Minus Zero plans to target the global mobility market with True Vision Autonomy. They have identified use cases through trials and proof-of-concept for in-campus mobility and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Over the next two years, the company intends to expand trials to foreign markets with stable regulatory norms, including public road trials.
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