Novus Drive 5 copy


Hi-Tech Robotics has developed a driverless shuttle and a driver drowsiness detection system.

Story by:

Deepanshu Taumar

Hi-Tech Robotics Systemz, a manufacturer of industrial and warehousing robots and automated guided vehicles has developed two innovative products; a driverless shuttle called Novus Drive and a driver drowsiness detection system called Novus Aware. With a core Research and Development (R&D) team of 50 members, the company is claimed to have spent seven to eight years building the driverless car and around five years in building the driver drowsiness detection system for which it is said to have heavily invested in pooling global talent. Rather than give out a definite investment figure, sources highlighted the successive reiterations carried out in the hardware of the two products. Both products were showcased at the recently concluded Auto Expo to get feedback from both customers and industry experts. The company is currently in the final stages of development and claims to direct all the acquired feedback towards incorporation in the final product.

Novus Drive is claimed to be the first driverless shuttle of the country which is developed and manufactured in India. The driverless shuttle with a seating capacity of 14 passengers is manufactured at Hi-Tech Robotic’s Gurgaon facility. Based on initial demand, the company will install a set-up of the required assembly lines for production. The company is known to have already tied-up with suppliers for body, chassis, frame and the controller to manufacture Novus Drive. Novus Drive can autonomously move with the use of high fidelity sensors and robust algorithms for navigation. Apart from that, the shuttle runs on a battery which is claimed to be environment friendly, and is said to be capable of running up to 150 km on a single charge. On the safety front, the shuttle houses a autonomous emergency braking system. Additionally, it also has three- dimensional LiDAR sensors along with stereo vision cameras and GPS-INS which creates a 3D reconstruction of the environment for autonomous navigation and path planning purposes. Jayant Bansal, Program Manager, Defence Robotics drew attention to the fact of how the main motivation of the company to build a driverless shuttle were the number of accidents occurred in the past due to human errors. “Currently 95 per cent of manufacturers are working to put driverless technologies into place and this is not far fetched,” added Bansal. Claiming Novus drive to be a product of complete in-house R&D and manufacturing of Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz, Bansal added that the system is capable of being retrofitted and that it wasn’t restricted to just the Novus drive. Bansal averred, “You can install these kits and make any car driverless, even an old vehicle.” These vehicles can work only in a controlled atmosphere and are known to be best suited for large campuses like universities, office complexes, hospitals, for events, in theme parks and in the upcoming smart cities. Bansal mentioned that the driverless shuttles could soon make their way to campuses as a result of both the technology being available and players ready to back it with investments.

It’s (Hi-Tech Robotics Systemz) second product Novus Aware is a drowsiness detecting system where the device can detect the drowsiness of the driver and thereby prevent accidents that happen as a result. The device sends voice alert instead of vibration alerts due to the latter being prohibited. Sources in the company claim to be ready with the vibration alert technology and that the technology could be rolled out at a later stage. Talks are said to be on with top commercial manufacturers to install Novus Aware. Speaking on production of Novus Aware, Bansal added, “We are planning to sell 50,000 units of Novus Aware annually. If it falls under the regulations just like seat belts, we can expect a huge number to be sold.” Claiming it (Novus Aware) to be a patented technology, Bansal also added that the company was the first to launch such a system in India. To add to it, Novus Aware also comes with another variant that called ‘Novus eye’. The Novus eye is installed at the front windshield along with a camera. It is claimed to alert the driver in case of a lane change and in the event of a collision. It can also connect to a mobile app, where all the vehicle analytics are known to get recorded. This is claimed to provide a detailed log of data like drive quality and the data can be shared on social media.

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