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Minus Zero partners with IIIT Hyderabad and IHub-Data to foster autonomous driving research ecosystem in India

Partners to build India-specific driving dataset and AI research for autonomous driving


(From Left to Right: Prof. C V Jawahar, IIIT Hyderabad; Jay Mookherje, CEO, iHub-Data; Gagandeep Reehal, CEO & CTO, Minus Zero)


Bengaluru, April 19, 2024: In a significant move towards advancing autonomous driving technology in India, Minus Zero, India’s leading autonomous driving technology start-up, signed an MoU with The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) and I-Hub Data. This partnership intends to create a collaborative ecosystem for autonomous driving and AI research along with the curation of world-class autonomous driving datasets for Indian scenarios.


This collaboration combines IIIT-Hyderabad's academic and research expertise with Minus Zero's industry expertise in solving foundational AI problems for driving to address the unique challenges posed by Indian driving conditions. Together, they aim to do ground-breaking research on multiple verticals including foundational models for autonomous driving, computer vision, AD simulators, synthetic data, etc. This alliance is proposed to strengthen the AI research ecosystem in India by combining real-life industry problems with breakthrough academic research, putting India on the world map of AI research and autonomous driving.


This partnership also aims to create a large-scale, engineered dataset of Indian roads that will be instrumental in training, validation, and benchmarking AI models for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving (AD). The comprehensive dataset will document the varied road infrastructure, traffic flows, and environmental settings across India. Both organisations will work closely to ensure that the dataset meets the highest standards necessary for training large AI models for autonomous driving applications.


Last year, Minus Zero demonstrated the capabilities of its autonomous driving platform in a closed environment through a purpose-built vehicle, zPod. This year the company also announced a strategic alliance with Ashok Leyland, the Indian flagship of the Hinduja Group and the country’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer to revolutionise commercial trucking in India. 


Gagandeep Reehal, CEO and Co-founder, of Minus Zero said: “With India taking a strong stance in the global AI race, close collaboration between industry and academia is crucial to foster an ecosystem that incentivizes researchers to pursue foundational AI research in India, rather than catching up on trends from the West. This partnership marks an important step in this vision to foster a culture of collaborative and open research in AI & autonomous driving technology in India for the world.”


"IHub-Data, driven by its commitment to fostering Data-driven technologies, is thrilled to announce its forthcoming partnership with Minus Zero, a trailblazer in Autonomous driving technology in India through their foundational AI models for next-generation vehicles. Through this collaboration, both entities aim to push the boundaries of AI innovation, enabling automakers to embrace unprecedented levels of autonomy beyond traditional ADAS systems. This strategic alliance underscores IHub-Data's dedication to facilitating cutting-edge research and technology development, while also propelling Minus Zero towards the forefront of the automotive industry's evolution,” said IHub-Data CTO, Dr Veera Ganesha Yalla.

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