Solar Energy and Driverless vehicle are the buzzwords in the technology sector and building on this student of Lovely Professional University (LPU) has designed and built a solar-powered bus which is driverless. As per the report in The Hans India, the first prototype of the vehicle will be utilized to welcome and ferry PM Modi to the Indian Science Congress venue, which will be held at LPU on January 3rd, 2019.
The bus is expected to launched for the commercial use later in 2019. Once launched commercially, the bus will be used at airports, housing societies, industrial complexes, and educational institutions. The design of the bus has been done keeping in mind Indian conditions and it will cost a fraction of existing buses at just Rs. 6 Lakh rupees.
When we talk about the maintenance of the vehicle the engine is battery and solar powered, the running cost is essentially negligible. The bus has a maximum speed of 30 km per hour and can seat 10-30 people, depending on the seat arrangement.
Over 300 students from multiple academic fields like Mechanical, Electrical, and Computer Engineering collaborated under the guidance of LPU professors and experts to design and fabricate the vehicle. The fabrication is being done at the LPU Project Studio where other such R&D and product commercialization also takes place.
Unlike the other hybrid vehicle which uses internal combustion engine along with an electric motor, the bus designed by LPU students is completely pollution free and uses only renewable energy in the form of electric motor and solar power for propulsion.
Students have used a technology called Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication to make the solar-powered bus driverless. The technology works by using wireless signals detected through ultra-sonic & infrared sensors. The bus uses GPS and Bluetooth for navigation and can be controlled within a radius of 10 meters. The motor controller adjusts the amount of energy that flows to the motor to correspond to the throttle.