@ A News of India Bureau
New Delhi: Students of various departments of Lovely Professional University have designed and built a driverless solar-powered bus. The bus is slated to enter commercial service later this year and the first prototype will be utilized to welcome and ferry PM Modi to the Indian Science Congress venue, which will be held at LPU on 3rd of January, 2019.
Once launched commercially, the bus will be used at airports, housing societies, industrial complexes, and educational institutions. The design of the bus has been done keeping in mind Indian conditions and it will cost a fraction of existing buses at just Rs. 6 Lakh rupees. Since the engine is battery and solar powered, the running cost is essentially negligible. The bus has a maximum speed of 30 kmph and can seat 10-30 people, depending on the seat arrangement.
Over 300 students from multiple academic fields like Mechanical, Electrical, and Computer Engineering collaborated under the guidance of LPU professors and experts to design and fabricate the vehicle. The fabrication is being done at the LPU Project Studio where other such R&D and product commercialization also takes place.
Unlike most hybrid vehicles that use an internal combustion engine along with an electric motor, the bus designed by LPU students is completely pollution free and uses only renewable energy in the form of electric motor and solar power for propulsion. 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 & Infrared sensors. The bus uses GPS and Bluetooth for navigation and can be controlled within a radius of 10 meters. The motor controller adjusts the amount of energy that flows to the motor to correspond to the throttle.
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. In fact, LPU is 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. The India Science Congress will be a great exposure for our students and they are very excited about it.”
Mandeep Singh, Project lead, said, “We are very happy to design a completely driverless and eco-friendly bus to welcome PM Modi. If his schedule and security arrangements permit, we would love to give him a tour of our campus in the bus.”