Driverless Car Challenge
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About the Program

We want to revolutionise driving on Indian roads. This innovation carries the promise of transforming our lives and addressing a range of challenges: from decreased road mortality rates and driver fatigue, to increased environmental friendliness that makes transportation more inclusive for people of all abilities –the possibilities are endless.

This document contains complete information on the Challenge including quantified deliverables, evaluation criteria, and timelines. Applications now open.


Driverless Car - Challenge Document Download

What's in it for you

  1. $700,000 to build a driverless car that can revolutionize transportation in India.
  2. Meet with industry experts, potential mentors, and join a growing community of innovation stars in India.
  3. Get privileged access to events across the country, and take part in webinars, Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
  4. Free access to our Resources section for the latest updates on the innovation landscape in India.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicants for the Challenge must be registered on
  2. Individuals, teams, organizations or institutions from India, working on the innovation within the geographical limits of India are eligible to participate in this Challenge.
  3. Non-Indians, residing in India, associated with an Indian organization or institution can participate provided that the work on the challenge is carried out within the geographical boundaries of India.
  4. Team sizes can range from 1 to 20 members. A comprehensive list of criteria can be accessed here.


DateStage / Phase
24 March 2014 - 19 September 2014 Submission of Applications
07 April 2014 - 06 October 2014 Evaluation of Applications and Announcements (Continuous Process)
14 April 2014 - 09 January 2015 Approach Note Submission
02 June 2014 - 16 February 2015 Approach Note Evaluation and Announcements (Continuous Process)
16 January 2015 - 20 March 2015 Live Presentations
13 February 2015 - 16 April 2015 Evaluation of Live Presentations
17 April 2015 Announcement of teams selected to move to Stage 1
15 April 2016 Working Prototypes (Dates are tentative. Details to be announced Jan 16th 2015)
17 October 2016 Full Solution Demonstration (Dates are tentative. Details to be announced later)

Intellectual Property

Mahindra has no claims whatsoever on a team’s Intellectual Property (IP).Teams are expected to take all necessary steps to protect their IP and obtain patents. Mahindra will not play any role whatsoever in helping teams obtain patents. EY are the process advisors on the Rise Prize. They oversee the entire process and ensure a safe and fair competition. A comprehensive set of guidelines on IP can be found here.

Approach Note

After submitting your application, you will receive a notification within 15 days if you have been shortlisted for the next stage. Only shortlisted applicants will be required to fill in an Approach Note.

The Approach Note is a more detailed description of your innovation and will help the jury evaluate your participation in further rounds.

Download Template

Jury Team

  • Dr. Ryan C.C. Chin

    Ryan is Managing Director & Research Scientist, City Science Initiative, MIT Media Lab which is responsible for establishing frameworks for academic-industrial collaboration as well as furthering research in urban systems. In 2006, Esquire Magazine placed him amongst the top 42 innovators under the age of 35. More recently his work received the 2014 Katerva Award (City Car Project). Know More.

  • Prakash Dandekar

    Prakash is a Visiting Professor at IIT-Gandhinagar and his key areas of interest are embedded wireless networked systems and product design; Real-time software application development for robotics, automotive, industrial automation and natural resources monitoring. Previously he led the Competency Centre for Embedded Systems, Telematics and Plant Automation for Tata Technologies. Know More.

  • Dr. Karl Iagnemma

    Karl is a principal research scientist in the Mechanical Engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has recently led research programs for agencies including the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, the Army Research Office, DARPA, the NASA Mars Program Office, Ford Motor Company, and the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, among others. Dr. Iagnemma was chosen as one of 16 people who redefined science in 2003 by SEED magazine. He was a 2005 nominee for a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. Know More.

  • Sushmita Mitra

    Sushmita is a Professor at the Machine Intelligence Unit (MIU), Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. She was the Head of MIU during the period 2010 to 2012. She has received numerous awards including the National Talent Search Scholarship (1978-1983) from NCERT, India, the University Gold Medal in 1988, the IEEE TNN Outstanding Paper Award in 1994 for her pioneering work in neuro-fuzzy computing, and the CIMPA-INRIA-UNESCO Fellowship in 1996. She is the author of several books including ``Neuro-Fuzzy Pattern Recognition: Methods in Soft Computing" and ``Data Mining: Multimedia, Soft Computing, and Bioinformatics"  among others. Know more.

  • Dinesh Mohan

    Mohan is an Emeritus Fellow at the IIT-Delhi and his key areas of interest are Biomechanics and epidemiology: Specifically with an Expertise in human impact tolerance, vehicle crashworthiness and road safety research. He is presently involved in design of safer truck fronts, analysis of highway crashes, analysis of tractor driver vibrations and interaction between safety and environmental policies. Know More.

  • Amitabha Mukerjee

    Amitabha is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in IIT-Kanpur. He is also associated with the institute’s Centre for Robotics and Mechatronics. His key areas of interest are Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision and Geometric Modeling, and Robotics. He was a recipient of the "Hari Om Sharan Prerit Vikram Sarabhai Award" for 1999 in the area of Electronics, Informatics, Telematics, and Automation. Know More.

  • Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwalla

    Ashok is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at IIT Madras where he leads the Telecommunications and Computer Networks group and has incubated more than fifty companies in the last twenty years. He chairs IITM Incubation cell, Health Technology Innovation Center, co-chairs Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) at IIT Madras and is professor in-charge of IITM Research Park. Know More.

  • Chetan Maini

    Chetan co-founded the REVA Electric Car Company, and is CEO of Mahindra Reva. He currently holds and has filed over 30 global patents in electric vehicle technologies. His vision and pioneering innovations in electric vehicles have been recognized worldwide, including Mahindra Reva being voted as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world in 2013. Know More.

  • Rajan Wadhera

    Rajan is Chief Executive — Truck & Power Train Division, and Head - Mahindra Research Valley (MRV). He has over 28 years of experience in the Automotive and Farm Equipment sectors where he has spearheaded research and development initiatives, technology incubation, sourcing, manufacturing, program management, vendor management, and new parts development. Know More.


  • 27 February 2014Mahindra's $1 million bounty awaits desi innovators

    Part of Mahindra's first edition of the $1 million 'Rise Prize'— was unveiled on Feb 28th, 2014, National Science Day—to spur breakthrough Indian innovation which captures the mainstream imagination. [Link]



Driverless Car - Challenge Document Download
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