Auro Robotics

Self driving shuttles for in-campus travel

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Hi, my name is Nalin Gupta, co-founder & CEO of Auro Robotics (startup behind this product). We realized that while all big automobile companies & Google are racing for passenger car market, there is an equally compelling need to advanced mobility systems at campus environments such as universities, resorts, large industrial sites, theme parks etc. Moreover, being private properties, they are free from government regulations around autonomous driving, and they offer a much more controlled environment to deploy early on. And hence started the journey. We now have a fully functional prototype being piloted at universities in Bay Area.
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Auro Robotics makes self-driving shuttles for in-campus travel. They're in the Summer 2015 batch of YC. Their electric shuttles reduce operating costs by 40-60% and are safe (they automatically stop if a pedestrian or vehicle crosses in front of them). One is live at Santa Clara University now.
I met the team yesterday at YC demo day and really liked them and the product is pretty cool as well. I think there is a possibility to monetize through licensing as well. Great job guys!
@atshruti Thanks Shruti. Looking forward for a more detailed discussion with you on it :)
Interesting. Could be a useful tool for getting disabled students around campus. The DisGo cart service at Stanford is particularly understaffed ( I'd be curious how well it recognizes stop signs and navigates twisty/odd campus pathways though.
@andrewjdupree Bingo! You are absolutely correct. We are working with a couple of university campuses in Bay Area who have exactly this type of pain point, but have no efficient solution (until now!). We create a 3D map of the environment before deploying self driving shuttles. This map is tagged with meta-information such as stop locations and road topography. On-board GPS on the vehicle and other localization techniques (such as correlating current laser scan with prior map data) help of precisely locate the current position of the vehicle to cm level accuracy. Being a small vehicle with small turning radius helps it to navigate twisty roads as well.
Great idea!