Tata Motors has been investing in autonomous technology for quite a while now and the results are impressive.
Tata Motors had developed a self-driving SUV even before ADAS was a thing in India and around the same time when Tesla cars were getting popular throughout the world. Autonomous driving technology has been an area of R&D for some of the biggest car marquees in the world for quite some time now. The future of mobility will be significantly aided by the self-driving characteristics of modern vehicles. Tesla has been at the forefront of this technology for a long time now. However, not many people know that Tata Motors started investing in autonomous driving technology back in 2014 in the UK. In a matter of 3 years, it was performing pilot tests on busy public roads across various cities in the UK.
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Tata Developed A Self-Driving SUV in 2018
The video shows the efforts put in by the entire team. Tata Motors decided to take a huge leap into the future of mobility back in 2014 with a strategic investment in the development of autonomous driving technology. There was not too much buzz around it back then apart from carmakers like Tesla. Recognising the direction the global automobile industry was heading in and how would that shape up the modern world, Tata Motors began working on it. As the test mule for this, the engineers decided to choose the Ace EV. Initially, the test runs were performed on the closed testing tracks.
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One of the engineers is heard saying that they had a basic infrastructure in terms of connectivity and autonomous technology back then. But within just the first 3 years, the team put an SUV on public roads with a ton of testing and development. It participated in the UK Autodrive which was part of the UK government’s ‘Introducing Driverless Cars’ initiative in 2015. This was a 3-year project that was designed to develop connectivity and autonomous driving technology. The cars for this project were provided by Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre for doing test runs on the roads of Milton Keynes and Coventry.
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Truly, the advent of autonomous driving technologies has served as a turning point in the world of automobiles. Of course, Tesla has played an important role in the faster adoption of such vehicles. Meanwhile, Tata Elxsi has been instrumental in offering design and technology services in the automotive space. Speaking on the self-driving industry and Elxsi’s algorithm capabilities, Biswajit Biswas, Chief Data Scientist, Tata Elxsi, told Analytics India Mag:
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“Tata Elxsi has been an early starter when it comes to self-driving vehicles. We have created a full-stack IP called AutonomAI, which some of the OEMs have adopted. This has helped to accelerate their program for autonomous vehicles. In self-driving vehicles, key components are perception and navigation. We have built high-performing deep learning models for various perception tasks – both stationary and nonstationary suiting needs for different terrain, geography, and transport safety rules. We have built tools and platforms to accomplish most of these, apart from relying on open source components and our partners. We have developed tools in sensor fusion, synthetic but realistic data generation, validation, automated testing, driver monitoring system, cabin monitoring system, and Analytics for CAN bus signals.”
Such initiatives reflects why Tata Motors has become so successful in the automobile industry today. The world-class products it makes today and the future projects and visions it has, were all incepted back in 2014 when it decided to invest in upcoming technology. So, don’t be surprised to see Tata Motors introducing autonomous driving tech to its SUV in the near future. Fingers crossed!