Rather than being an exclusive set of features meant only for luxury vehicles, autonomous driving assistance systems (ADAS) are gradually making their way to mass-market cars. However, for budget-oriented cars, Tata Elxsi, Tata’s dedicated company for developing electronics software, has developed its platform for autonomous driving, which can be retrofitted in any vehicle.
The autonomous driving platform was in development by Tata Elxsi for the last ten years. It started with image processing essential for the operation of a lot of driving aids. Like in any other ADAS setup, the platform developed by Tata Elxsi employes a set of radar-based sensors and cameras. The company claims that all the components of this platform are compliant for autonomous level 4 driving, which means a fully self-driving feature without your hands on the steering wheel.
Tata Tiago on autonomous parking
Tata Elxsi had already developed an auto-parking system to solve the problems of drivers who struggle with gauging and parking with limited view. The system uses various technologies, such as a photo-realistic simulation environment called “V-Drive”, an autonomous driving middleware stack called “autonomai”, ADAS algorithms for camera monitoring systems and a V2X validation tool powered by augmented reality.
In a YouTube video uploaded by Tata Elxsi, we can see a Tata Tiago fitted with this system. After switching on this system, you need to first train the vehicle by creating trajectory paths for park-in and park-out, both of which get stored in the vehicle’s memory. Once you save these paths, you can drop the car at its drop zone next time, which is the spot from where you started recording the trajectory. Using a dedicated mobile application, you can trigger the auto-parking system by selecting one of the two modes – “nose in” or “nose out”.
On clicking the “start parking” tan, the vehicle follows the trajectory for park-in save last time and parks in the space by itself. It can also move out from the parking space by following the saved trajectory for the park-out, which can be operated through the same procedure on the mobile application.
However, if the vehicle senses an obstruction in its path, such as a person or another vehicle, it will stop moving. It is possible due to a host of sensors and cameras at the rear and front. Once the obstruction moves away from its trajectory, it will resume moving on the desired path.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis autonomous driving
Tata Elxsi also developed an Autonomous level-4 driving system for cars. They used the Maruti Suzuki Ignis to display the capabilities of the system. The system uses LIDAR to make 3D mapping of the surroundings and systems similar to the system used for the autonomous driving.
Tata Elxsi believes that there are a few challenges that are coming in its way for an effective ADAS platform development, which include high cost of software, improper lane markings and traffic signals on the roads and lack of awareness about ADAS among the people. However, the company is keeping an eye on the next 4-5 years, which will reduce these challenges to a great extent.