University

Robotics co. secures $2M to deploy autonomous campus shuttle

Posted on May 2, 2016

Santa Clara University will be the beta test site for autonomous shuttles (Photo credit: Joanne H. Lee/Santa Clara University)
Santa Clara University will be the beta test site for autonomous shuttles (Photo credit: Joanne H. Lee/Santa Clara University)

Auro Robotics, an autonomous campus shuttle service, secured $2 million in funding, which will be used to roll out autonomous campus shuttle services at a major American university later this year, marking one of the most advanced deployments of self-driving cars to date.

“Private campuses are an ideal springboard toward a world of fully automated vehicles,” said Jim DiSanto, managing partner at Motus Ventures, the investment firm that led the funding round. “Operating at lower speeds, free of complex government regulations, with the right technologies we can go completely driverless today versus the end of the decade, as projected for public transportation.”

Auro Robotics provides a complete technology system, including proprietary software specific to the unique needs of the private campus environment, to ensure safe and reliable autonomous transportation that promises to reduce parking congestion, facilitate mobility, improve campus security and reduce operating costs up to 60%. The platform combines vehicles and a software platform to overcome challenges of maneuvering safely among erratic traffic flow, heavy crowds, bad weather and imprecise GPS.

The company currently operates a pilot service at Santa Clara University where it safely transports students and faculty anywhere and anytime on campus.



The Auro Robotics system includes a suite of technologies encompassing all aspects of campus autonomous driving. Auro Robotics equips all-electric vehicles with a multi-sensor system for detecting ground-level obstacles. Software includes three-dimensional map creation and real-time localization, as well as advanced motion-planning software and a smart vehicle-pedestrian interaction system. The company also provides a mobile application tuned for on-demand shuttle scheduling and tracking, as well as cloud-based fleet management and scheduling software.

Auro Shuttles use the latest technology to ensure safe navigation even on busy roads. The vehicle is equipped with lasers, camera, radar and GPS providing it complete 360-degree vision under all environmental situations.

Vehicle Technology
The shuttles relies on a prior 3D map of the environment, which is created once in the lifetime at the beginning. In all subsequent runs, it uses this 3D map to localize itself and interpret road topography, according to Auro Robotics' website.

Passengers can input their destinations through a simple-to-use touch screen mounted on the vehicle, or through their mobile app. The underlying software automatically figures out the optimum high-level route to reach safely to the destination.

Auro Prime is a complete self-driving vehicle equipped with all autonomous driving features. It includes:

  •   Obstacle detection and collision avoidance
  •   Road & lane detection and following
  •   Pedestrian detection and avoidance
  •   Emergency braking system
  •   Adaptive speed control, as per the traffic situation

  •  Traffic signs & signal recognition, and following

About Auro Robotics
Founded by graduates of CMU’s Robotics Institute, and the IIT Kharagpur Robotics Research Group, and Y-Combinator, Nalin Gupta, Jit Ray Chowdhury and Srinivas Reddy launched Auro Robotics to apply their work on self-driving shuttles to the campus market. Visit www.Aurobots.com

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