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HRD Minister rides India’s first driverless solar-powered bus built

by Lovely Professional University students

Phagwara, January 06, 2019: Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar today took a ride in the country’s first driverless, solar-powered bus developed by the students of Lovely Professional University in Punjab.

Mr Javdekar who was at the 106th Indian Science Congress, hosted by Lovely Professional University (LPU), hopped on to the futuristic driverless bus and took a brief tour of the campus.

Speaking to the media after the ride, Mr Javdekar lauded the students of LPU for developing such an innovative product. “It is through initiatives like these our country can progress,” he added.

Lovely Professional University Chancellor Ashok Mittal said, “The driverless bus is another example of LPU students being at the forefront of technology. Some other interesting projects done by LPU students include flying farmer, a wireless sensor device, exclusively used in farming and field survey, Formula one car and Go-karts. LPU is also one of the few universities from the country that have represented India at renowned global competitions like NASA Rover Challenge and international go-kart championship. LPU is delighted to present this completely driverless and eco-friendly bus designed and developed on our campus.”

The driverless, solar-powered bus was built by over 300 students from Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Science Engineering branches of Lovely Professional University. The bus is scheduled to enter commercial service later this year. Designed under the guidance of faculty, the fabrication of the bus will be done at the Lovely Professional University Project Studio, which is dedicated for R&D and commercialization of products.

Once the bus is commercially launched, it will be ideal for use at airports, housing societies, industrial complexes, and educational institutions. The bus has been designed keeping in mind Indian roads and extensive test drives on the campus of Lovely Professional University have been very successful.

The driverless bus can be built to suit for 10 to 30 people depending on the requirement and has a maximum speed of 30 kmph.  In spite of the futuristic technology, the bus has been built at a cost of only about Rs 6 Lakh rupees, much lower than regular vehicles of similar capacity. The running cost too is expected to be very low considering it uses renewable solar power.

The bus runs purely on renewable energy and hence is a zero-emission vehicle. The students have used a technology called Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication to make the bus driverless. The technology works by using wireless signals detected through ultra-sonic & infra-red sensors. The bus uses GPS and Bluetooth for navigation.

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