Delhi-based defence IoT startup CRON Systems is working to develop the prototype of fully-functional driverless truck this year to help Indian army to deal in hostile locations. According to the team of CRON Systems, the first prototype would be ready within next six months. About 40 team members including co-founders of CRON Systems, Tushar Chhabra, Saurav Agarwala, and Tommy Katzenellenbogen are working together on the development of this prototype.
Chhabra was quoted as saying to Economic Times today, “We intend to do a pilot before December this year and have a fully functional product up and running by the first quarter next year.” He claimed that autonomous trucks can help soldiers figure out the best routes and give them zero-visibility driving capability. The existing trucks themselves will be equipped with autonomous facilities. The advantage of these vehicles is that they can reach to the soldiers during emergency without any human involvement. Further, they reduce causality by replacing soldiers at intrusion points during search operations.
The startup is already in advanced stage of discussion with two biggest automobile manufacturers in India to use the technology in their trucks. In addition, a lot of the back-end technology has been formed by collaborating with Automotive Robotics, a player in the engine and power train testing field. Chhabra said, “We plan to make a plug and play model which can be used to convert the existing trucks into autonomous or at least semi-autonomous vehicles.”
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The startup, which had earlier developed encrypted communication system miCRON, laser walls for the Border Security Force and laser-guided surveillance systems, has come up with an offline mapping system for trucks. The laser walls at the border are used as pointers for the trucks to communicate and drive forward. Chhabra added, “At borders, we cannot use the satellite maps. That would be like giving away the positions. So, we have developed an offline mapping system.”
To safeguard against cyber threats, all the platforms along the border are connected to CRONet, an internal communication network. CRONet will not talk to any other device except the device available to the forces. “All our products are primarily designed for the Border Security Forces and Indian Army. We have three-four people sitting at our office who work 24X7 to prevent such incidents,” Chhabra concluded.
Notably, CRON Systems also singed a technology pact with Israel’s defence robotics company Automotive Robotic Industry Ltd (ARI) to integrate smart ARI rovers with CRON’s laser-guided surveillance systems.
Launched in 2015, CRON Systems joins deep research in lasers, data, artificial intelligence, encrypted communications and automation to offer accurate and seamless laser-guided intruder detection infrastructure. In January this year, the startup had received funding from YourNest, India’s leading early stage investor for the deployment of cutting edge technology solutions for the Indian security forces.
Moreover, some of the solutions produced by CRON Systems have also been adapted for commercial purposes by different industries. Tushar Chhabra, Saurav Agarwala and Tommy Katzenellenbogen founded CRON Systems in 2015. Its initial product the KAVACH Laser Wall, powered by Infrared and Laser is a Perimeter Intrusion Detection Platform has already applied at the Indo-Pak border for helping Border Security Forces (BSF). The startup is also working on Automated Drones and Smart Fencing to empower border forces with critical facilities.
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