A project that had been going on for 3 years has finally come to an end. Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) is a subsidiary of Tata Motors, created as a UK-based centre of excellence for automotive design and engineering located at the University of Warwick. They had initiated a 3-year-old project which was a part of the UK auto drive project. The project was co-funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. They brought together 15 partners including OEMs, cutting-edge engineering businesses, academia and progressive councils to explore the impact of ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared) technology. For this project, Tata used their relatively new SUV, the Tata Hexa. They successfully tested the car to drive autonomously without a driver.
According to Mr Rajendra Petkar, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors, “At Engineering Research Centre (ERC)we have been actively undertaking R&D work on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as well as full vehicle autonomy in order to be future ready. Road congestion, air pollution and road safety, are acute concerns in India. We are likely to embrace connected, electric and shared technology sooner and therefore it is essential we remain at the forefront of these developments. Autonomy will be a consideration for the future in India. As the UK has already published a code of practice for testing autonomous vehicles safely and legally, it provides the ideal platform to enable us to challenge our self-driving vehicle capabilities. With the support of our much-talented team at TMETC, I am delighted to share that the trials done on the HEXA have yielded immensely rewarding insights for us. Going forward, we plan to introduce a number of ADAS functionalities in a structured & phased manner.”
The Tata Hexa MPV has been sold in the Indian market since 2017. It is offered with a 2.2-litre diesel engine which produces an output of 154 horses and gives a turning force of 400 Nm. The car also comes with an option of a six-speed manual or a six-speed torque convert gearbox. Here is a video of the autonomous car undergoing testing in the UK.