Is Indiana ready to accept driverless cars? Shaoshan Liu thinks so, at least on a limited basis. Liu is chief executive officer and founder of California-based PerceptIn, which last week announced plans to relocate its global headquarters to Fishers by early next year.
The visual intelligence technology says in intends to invest $6 million in the project and create up to 160 jobs by the end of 2022.
Not only will the company have office space at the Indian IoT lab, but in intends to conduct research on its self-driving vehicle technology and operate four autonomous low-speed electric vehicles (LSEVs) in Fishers.
“The city has an open mind and welcomed our innovation, said Shaoshan Liu. “Indiana’s commitment to growing and enhancing its technology sector, along with its business-friendly environment and collaborative industry partnerships, is why we chose to locate here.”
PerceptIn says it intends to deploy a pilot program designed to identify solutions for the city’s short-distance transportation needs. For now, passengers will be transported daily from the Indiana IoT Lab to downtown Fishers.
“We look forward to deploying our autonomous microtransit services in Fishers and increasing our presence throughout the state,” Liu said.
The company says its vehicles rely on a patented vision-based fusion with modular computing systems and GPS to operate on streets with limited traffic.
“That initial pilot will help us gather operation data to help us envision how much we can help local governments reduce their transportation budget,” said Liu.
In June, the company showcased one if its two-seat DragonFly Pods at Purdue University to demonstrate how students could commute from campus parking lots to academic buildings. The company says those units would be more effective in large cities with population density concerns, like New York City or more populated Asian cities in China and Japan.
For the Fishers routes, Liu says the company will use an 8-seat autonomous shuttle bus.
As part of the expansion, the company will work with the city of Fishers and Energy Systems Network, an energy and transportation technology initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.
“Fishers is a city made for entrepreneurs, and today we are happy to support the future of transportation technology through this pilot program and in support of our newest Fishers company, PerceptIn,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness.
Liu explains to Inside INdiana Business why the evolution of autonomous autos will take time.