Amid all the fanfare and glamour associated with new launches of vehicles at the 12th edition of the Auto Expo here, students of a private university from Punjab are quietly showcasing 15 vehicles - all conceptualized, designed, developed and manufactured by them.
Students from the Lovely Professional University (LPU), Phagwara, have lined up their concepts - ranging from the world's first solar family car, the world's smallest car, a mobile operated driverless car, a multi-energy smart hybrid car, unique bikes, hybrid cryogen engine, a hexa-copter, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and others.
While automobile giants and leading brands showcase the best of their products at the expo, the students have come up with these vehicles through out-of-the-box thinking and R&D based on passion.
The Smart Hybrid Car (SHC) showcased at the LPU corner at the Auto-Expo claims to be the world's most fuel-efficient and can only be driven by an authorized person using a finger scanner. "The SHC will not start if the driver has consumed alcohol or does not have normal blood pressure and body temperature," Bikash Kant, an assistant professor at LPU, told IANS here.
The solar family car claims to do away with costly fuel options and promises the "highest mileage on solar energy". The driverless car can be operated with a mobile phone from anywhere in the world.
The Retro Voiture, the world's smallest car designed on a vintage model, has classical looks with modern technology. Unique bikes are also on display that can work on dual energy sources.
"Developed as a part of the world-class application-based curriculum at LPU, each project highlights the talent and the thrust given to creativity at the university. The family solar car can go from Delhi to Jaipur (220 km) on a single charge," LPU deputy director Aman Mittal told IANS.
Students and faculty have also produced innovative accessories like a hybrid cryogen engine which utilizes nitrogen for a running cost of just 57 paise per km.
"The hexa-copter is the future messenger which will easily supply to the customers' home. It can also be used for air surveillance or high altitude photo shoots," Mittal said.
"We have worked for the last two years on different concepts of cars and engines for future use. Nearly 500 engineering students worked devotedly for this. The budget and schedule remained an important part of our engineering process and we managed these two important factors also," Kant noted.
Emaya, an engineering student from Tamil Nadu, said, "This is a dream come true for me. I feel that for an engineering student, creativity is not only on the examination sheet but also in actuality in the workshops and on the field. To be in parallel at Auto Expo amid auto giants like Honda, Tata, Maruti and Ford is a wonderful experience."
Another student, Vishwas Singh, said, "I am really fortunate to be part of this project where I gained practical knowledge of all the theoretical aspects I learnt so far. This participation has made me more confident about my ability and potentiality to further work on more novel projects."
LPU is one of the largest private universities in the country with over 25,000 students on its 600-acre campus, located near Jalandhar, 150 km from Chandigarh. Besides students from all parts of India, LPU has students from 26 countries, including the US, Australia, China, Germany, Iran, Iraq, China, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Mongolia.
"It's a privilege to be a part of the Auto Expo showcasing our university's talent. We aim to be a truly global university where innovation, technological advancement and R&D are core to every initiative we undertake. This project is a sneak peek into the talent and innovation at LPU. Conceptualized on both inventive and practical factors, these vehicles would be commercialized later," LPU Chancellor Ashok Mittal said.
He said that the university is in serious discussions with a Fortune-50 company for design collaboration for these as well as future projects of the university.