zPod, India’s First AI-Driven Autonomous Vehicle

K. C. Sabreena Basheer 05 Jun, 2023 • 3 min read

Bengaluru-based start-up Minus Zero is making waves in the field of autonomous vehicles with the unveiling of India’s first AI-powered self-driving vehicle. The fully-electric prototype, called zPod, showcases impressive capabilities and aims to redefine mobility through cutting-edge technology. With a focus on affordability and advanced AI systems, Minus Zero’s zPod is poised to transform the transportation landscape. Let’s delve into the details of this groundbreaking development.

AI-based start-up Minus Zero has launched India's first AI-based self-driving autonomous vehicle, zPod.

Breaking Barriers: India’s First Autonomous Vehicle Hits the Road

Minus Zero proudly introduces zPod, a breakthrough in autonomous vehicle technology. The AI-based start-up has successfully developed a fully autonomous vehicle that can easily navigate various environmental and geographical constraints.

Also Read: AI Traffic Management System Hits Indian Roads

Level 5 Autonomy: A Giant Leap in Self-Driving Capabilities

The zPod prototype boasts Level 5 autonomy, representing the highest level of autonomous driving. This means that the vehicle can operate without human intervention in all driving conditions and environments, making it a significant achievement in self-driving technology.

Also Read: DataHour: Applications of Machine Learning in Self Driving Cars

Minus Zero's zPod with level-5 autonomy is India's first self-driving autonomous vehicle.

Seeds of Success: Minus Zero’s Impressive Funding Journey

Founded in 2021 by Gagandeep Reehal and Gursimran Kalra, Minus Zero has garnered substantial support from investors. With a seed funding of $1.7 million, the start-up has attracted notable backers, including Chiratae Ventures, Snow Leopard Ventures, IIT Mandi, and angel investors from the autonomous vehicles industry.

Gagandeep Reehal and Gursimran Kalra - founders of the AI-based start-up Minus Zero

Camera-Based Sensory System: Driving Innovation and Affordability

Unlike traditional autonomous vehicles that rely on expensive sensor arrays, zPod utilizes a network of high-resolution cameras strategically positioned as its primary sensory system. These cameras capture real-time images of the surroundings, which are then processed by the AI system to make informed decisions regarding navigation, speed control, and obstacle avoidance. Minus Zero’s camera-based approach enhances affordability and opens up new possibilities for autonomous mobility.

Also Read: 6 AI-powered Applications for Providing In-Vehicle Comfort

In-Campus Mobility: Pioneering Autonomous Transportation

The initial use case for zPod is limited to in-campus mobility, catering to transportation needs within specific controlled environments like tech parks, university campuses, and corporate campuses. This targeted approach allows Minus Zero to fine-tune their technology while providing efficient mobility solutions within defined areas.

Collaborating for Growth: Enhancing OEMs’ Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems

Using their pioneering technology, Minus Zero aims to collaborate with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to enhance their advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). By offering its expertise, Minus Zero intends to contribute to developing safer and more efficient autonomous features in vehicles.

India's first autonomous vehicle comes built-in with driver-assistance services and other latest technology.

Beyond Cars: Showcasing AI-based Autonomy Systems

While zPod is a remarkable vehicle in itself, the founders of Minus Zero emphasize that the start-up is not an original equipment manufacturer. Instead, the zPod serves as a demonstration of their robust AI-based autonomous vehicle technology. The focus remains on advancing their proprietary technologies and exploring collaborations with OEMs for future growth.

Also Read: Application of AI in Predictive Maintenance of Vehicles

Nature-Inspired AI and True Vision Autonomy: Pioneering Technologies

Minus Zero’s proprietary technologies, Nature Inspired AI (NIA) and True Vision Autonomy (TVA), drive their innovative solutions. NIA offers real-time low-power processing, adaptability to uncertain driving conditions, and eliminates the need for re-learning in different scenarios. TVA, a vehicle-agnostic technology, relies solely on cameras as its sensor suite, ensuring reliable and safe navigation in real-world scenarios.

Our Say

Minus Zero’s groundbreaking achievement with zPod marks a significant milestone in India’s autonomous vehicle landscape. By leveraging AI-based systems, the start-up aims to transform mobility by offering affordable and cutting-edge solutions. As Minus Zero continues to advance its proprietary technologies, we can expect a future where autonomous vehicles redefine transportation, making it more user-focused and experiential.

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