Fully Autonomous Taxi Demonstrator Vehicle Unveiled

By Mike Ball / 05 Jan 2020
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Tata Elxsi and AEye autonomous RoboTaxi

Tata Elxsi, an automotive design and technology firm, and artificial perception systems developer AEye have announced the successful completion of RoboTaxi, Tata Elxsi’s in-house concept demonstrator vehicle developed using AEye’s iDAR perception platform and Tata Elxsi’s autonomous stack. Both companies will be demonstrating the system at CES in Las Vegas.

RoboTaxi is built on top of Tata Elxsi’s software middleware platform Autonomai, which features deep learning and AI capabilities. Users can travel in a RoboTaxi from their current location to the user’s selected destination with the press of a button on the screen. The fully autonomous vehicle, fitted with AEye’s iDAR, encounters various scenarios, such as cross-traffic detection at junctions and roundabouts, and follows the road ahead, cueing the sensor with HD maps and V2X information. Tata Elxsi is responsible for iDAR integration into the vehicle, interfacing with the AD stack, simulation, and vehicle testing.

AEye’s iDAR is a fully software-definable smart sensor that supports dynamic ROI (region of interest) and cueing of sensors, improving the reliability of detection and classification, while extending the range at which objects can be detected, classified and tracked to enhance safe, reliable vehicle autonomy. iDAR can be scaled for autonomy on demand, meaning that it can be integrated onto any hardware implementation, from low-cost ADAS to fully integrated 360 degree robotaxi functionality. AEye also recently announced the ability to move selective perception capabilities to the edge of the network, onto the sensor itself.

Abhijit Thatte, VP of AI and software at AEye, commented: “Tata Elxsi has been a wonderful development partner, helping us to extend the software capabilities of the iDAR platform and integrate iDAR into a fully realized autonomous driving stack. Building a reference autonomous system from the ground up, based on iDAR as the artificial perception platform, is a fantastic achievement for the AEye and Tata Elxsi’s AD/ADAS team. We are excited to be demonstrating some of the unique capabilities of iDAR and how they can accelerate the deployment of autonomous features in vehicles.”

Nitin Pai, Chief Marketing Officer and Strategy Head of Tata Elxsi, stated: “iDAR is a powerful perception platform, and it has been an exceptional opportunity to work with iDAR and the AEye team to realize our shared vision of how to implement autonomous driving. We look forward to continuing to work together to deliver exciting new capabilities in 2020.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact