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  • Writer's pictureayush devak

Odisha startup develops India's first AI powered electric aircraft, to be showcased at Paris event..

With serious challenges caused by fossil fuel and pollution, the future of transportation is a big concern. BON V Technology, a homegrown startup of Odisha, has developed India’s first artificial intelligence (AI) powered electric aircraft, which is a clean, smart, sustainable, and safe mode of transportation. The multi-utility vehicle will be displayed at Europe’s largest tech and startups event- VivaTech in Paris from June 15-18 as one of the leading innovations from India.

The aircraft RM001, can be useful in speedy and economic cargo transportation in hilly terrains, disaster relief, emergency medical supplies, casualty evacuation and firefighting. It can carry up to 200 kg of cargo to more than 40 km and it is seven times cheaper than current air transportation.

“It was like a miracle. A week ago, we got a call from the Embassy of India in Paris that we have been selected to present our innovation at VivaTech. Before we could understand anything, we got another call from Niti Aayog and they asked us to take our vehicle to Paris. It was followed by a series of calls, mails, and permissions for sending our design to Paris,” said Satyabrata Satapathy, chief executive officer of BON V Technology, who will leave for Paris with his team on Monday. The vehicle RM001 has already been sent to Paris as cargo for the Embassy of India in Paris as diplomatic cargo.

The design of the aircraft got the much-needed attention of policymakers when it was displayed during a tech-fest by Niti Aayog to celebrate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahaotsav’ at New Delhi in April this year. “The mobility sector continues to witness pathbreaking disruption and BON V Technology is one such startup that is pioneering carbon-free smart aerial mobility through their e-vertical take-off landing vehicle. Amazing to see innovative prowess in action,” said Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of Niti Aayog in his tweet.

BON V Technology has been funded and incubated by Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, was started by seven techies in 2021, passionate about building a robust and affordable aerial mobility platform for goods transport now and people transportation in future. “BON V aims to make aerial logistics super affordable at par with road transport in the hilly region,” said Gaurav Achha, co-CEO, BON V.

The vehicle will be equipped with state-of-the art technology to navigate itself during flight, avoid obstacles and communicate with ground stations and worldwide through 4G and 5G connectivity. “It does not need to be operated once the destination location is entered. It automatically calculates the shortest aerial route and safe elevation to fly as per digital aerial maps. It has the world’s smallest and lightest avionic footprints,” said Abinash Sahu, chief technical officer of BON V.

With the support of IIT-Mandi and a consortium of companies as eco-system partners, BON V has targeted to commercialise the aircraft by the end of 2022. Besides, founder of Bhubaneswar Engineering College Alok Ranjan Mallik has been a great support in terms of facilities, said Sahu.

Credit: Times Of India

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