We all have heard about the driverless cars but do we know about one such start-up in Jalandhar? Minus-Zero is an initiative of two friends from different backgrounds. Gagandeep Reehal, a B.tech student of Thapar University came along with his long time friend Gursimran Kalra, who was the CBSE district topper of commerce in 2018 and a graduate from Shree Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, one of the top most colleges of commerce in India.  They studied together in the same school for almost 10 years and after changing streams they finally coordinated in September last year to build this project.

At Minus-Zero, they are working on driverless vehicles. In conversation with Truescoop, Gursimran said " We have tested our first prototype, we converted an e-rickshaw and drove it without a driver on a stretch of 2.2 km in  Jalandhar. We are the first company in India to operate Driverless vehicles on  public roads. Right now we don't have legal regulations laid down in India for the autonomous vehicle who can certify our product but we got permit from local RTO to run this test on public road."

Vehicles are to be always handled with care to avoid accidents, keeping in mind the safety concerns the team is always monitoring the vehicle when it's on road. Since this technology is in its initial stage throughout the globe, they are planning to launch the vehicle in the form of a subscription based service instead of selling the product directly to the consumer. They are targeting in-campus mobility, industrial parks, theme parks, airports and such kind of private places where there is huge area to be covered on a daily basis but there are not good alternatives available.

During their beginning phase, the project was at their own expense but after their prototype, they attracted a lot of attention in the market, people really appreciated their work and they were covered by various media houses, not only in India but also around the world. 

Gursimran was looking for a corporate job when he was at SRCC and he even got one in a multinational company. But for a long time, he had interest in building something of his own, he saw huge potential in this project and left his job to pursue building this project. People even called him out for leaving a paid and secured job and taking this risk but now it pays well and he is doing something that he always wanted to do. Gagandeep handles all the technical work at Minus-Zero and Gursimran handles all the non-technical work.

They have received a government grant from the Ministry of Electronics & Technology to pursue this further. These vehicles are five times cheaper than the other overseas companies because they are not using any expensive stack on their vehicle. They take already built vehicles and remove the steering, breaking columns, acceleration and other parts and retrofit it with their modular stack. Then they  install their software which is on a predefined server to operate the vehicle and have complete supervision on all the activities.

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Just like the other entrepreneurs, they work full-time, hustling and investing atleast 12-14 hours a day and sometimes even this duration exceeds. In their process of building Driverless Vehicles, they realized how much our country lags in autonomous vehicle front as compared to the global counterparts and their start-up is an initiative towards covering that gap.         

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