EKA, an electric vehicle manufacturing and technology company, and a subsidiary of Pinnacle Industries, which recently entered the bus market has announced a new partnership with Canada-headquartered NuPort Robotics to introduce Level 2 autonomy, advanced driver assistance systems to its electric bus models.
It is interesting to note that it was in February 2020 Autocar Professional had first reported about NuPort Robotics plans to enter the Indian market and deploy commercial vehicles fitted with its autonomous tech by 2022.
Through this strategic partnership, NuPort will provide AI-enabled autonomous solutions and EKA will provide the electric vehicle platform. This is said to be the first-time level 2 autonomy and AI will be utilised and incorporated for e-buses on Indian roads. The OEM will test a range of autonomous features developed by NuPort, which claims will contribute to notable improve safety, reduce environmental footprint and increase operational efficiency. Following a period of rigorous testing, the technology will be deployed with over 5,000 e-buses representing a minimum investment of nearly Rs 150 crore. This the partners say will contribute to the future of transportation and sustainability. The partners claim with the technology can help reduce crash rates for commercial vehicles by nearly 50 percent.
NuPort Robotics has announced its plans to set up operations in Pune, India and fully develop and deploy its technology for commercial vehicle manufacturers, beginning with the EV segment.
The company says it will follow a ‘Made in India’ approach thereby contributing to the advancement of economic development and innovation ecosystem within the country.
NuPort’s technology provides level 2 autonomy features specifically targeted for Indian roads, considering the complex nature of traffic and understanding the local driving mindset. Using proprietary AI technology will progressively enable autonomous features thereby increasing safety, operational efficiency, and reduced carbon footprint.
Dr Sudhir Mehta, chairman EKA and Pinnacle Industries said, “Our partnership with NuPort ensures that our electric buses are not only environmentally friendly but also futuristic through incorporation of Artificial Intelligence thereby making our buses efficient and safer to operate on Indian roads. I am confident that both EKA and NuPort will provide a safer, greener, and much more efficient transportation for Indian roads.”
Raghavender Sahdev, CEO, NuPort Robotics said, “The current project with EKA allows us to set the first precedent in India for a Level 2 AI-enabled smart electric bus. Partnering with EKA on this initiative allows us to work with a leading national manufacturer and learn and develop technology solutions specifically for Indian driving conditions. Our focus on innovation, sustainability, automation and artificial intelligence is aligned perfectly with EKA’s principles and vision leading to this strategic partnership between the two companies."
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