|PerceptIn plans to deploy its Dragon Fly Bus in downtown Fisher by early 2020 / Photo Credit: TierneyMJ (via Shutterstock)|
Self-driving cars are coming to Indiana courtesy of California-based firm PerceptIn, said Kyle Wiggers of technology news website Venture Beat. The company announced that it will relocate its headquarters to the IoT lab in Fishers, Indianapolis, to roll out an autonomous vehicle pilot program, which will help create 50 new jobs by 2022. PerceptIn plans to deploy self-driving vehicles, known as DragonFly Bus, in downtown Fisher by early 2020. The autonomous vehicles will transport passengers from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. daily to and from restaurants and offices.
The vehicles’ speed won’t exceed 20 miles per hour and will be monitored by safety drivers and teleoperators. Eight people can ride in the vehicle. The routes might expand depending on the results of the pilot program, PerceptIn said. “Indiana’s commitment to growing and enhancing its technology sector, along with its business-friendly environment and collaborative industry partnerships, is why we chose to locate her,” explained CEO Shaoshan Liu. The company is also looking forward to deploying its autonomous microtransit services in Fishers, increasing its presence on the state and setting an example for the whole country to take advantage of advanced technologies to enhance public transportation systems.
The vehicles will be built atop DragonFly Pod, Perceptin’s autonomous platform, which has been in development since early 2016. Perceptin has been testing the Pods in an industrial park, where a prototypical fleet has driven over 10,000 collective miles. Each one is powered by Nvidia’s Jetson platform. The Pods are also equipped with four high-definition RGB cameras, four sets of radars, GPS, ultrasound sensors, and wheel odometry sensors. The latter counts the number of rotations completed by each wheel. Ultrasound sensors, on the other hand, detect nearby obstacles.
PerceptIn’s platform can locate a Pod within 20 centimeters using the odometry data alone. With the cameras, it can produce a panoramic point cloud at 30 frames per second, localizing the Pod in a three-dimensional space. PerceptIn is definitely taking concrete steps on innovating transport and vehicles, dipping its toes in the lucrative market of self-driving cars.