Dr. Volker Wissing, the Federal Minister of Digital and Transport of Germany, recently visited Minus Zero, India’s first start-up working on autonomous mobility. The visit was part of his tour in India for the G20 Ministers' meeting aimed at deepening Indo-German cooperation in AI, Digital, and Autonomous Vehicle (AV) sectors.
The minister, accompanied by Mr. Achim Burkat, the Consul General of Germany in Bangalore, and a delegation of 13 members from the minister's office and the German Consulate in India, was welcomed by the Minus Zero team.
The visit included a fireside chat discussing the future of AVs, regulatory readiness, and sustainability. The minister emphasized the vital role of AVs in the future of mobility and expressed his support for the development of this technology. He acknowledged that Germany is the first country to pass L4 regulations and assured that the government will not hinder the development of autonomous technology, stating it's now the role of technologists to take it ahead.
During the visit, Dr. Volker Wissing highlighted the importance of cooperation between India and Germany, the resultant innovations that are possible when world-class teams come together with the best engineering solutions. Germany's advanced technology and commitment to sustainable mobility, combined with India's burgeoning tech talent and evolving start-up ecosystem, can lead to the creation of innovative solutions in autonomous mobility. This collaborative approach can revolutionize the future of mobility on a global scale.
Dr. Wissing experienced the technologies driving India’s first autonomous vehicle prototype, the zPod. He tried Minus Zero’s cutting-edge work on Generative AI, and depth mapping and took a VR experience of seeing the world through an AV’s eyes. The minister shared his experience of visiting Bangalore in 1992 when the city was yet to earn the tag of “The IT capital of India. He expressed his excitement at seeing the development in Bangalore since that visit, even more, amused with the start-up ecosystem in it, with companies like Minus Zero building futuristic mobility solutions.
The minister also visited Minus Zero’s lab, the AI Verse, and saw India's first autonomous vehicle in the flesh. He sat in the vehicle, experiencing its features and comfort, and shared lighter moments with the team. Congratulating the team, he expressed his pride in their achievement in such a short span of time and saw great potential in such solutions to address global mobility challenges.
The visit concluded with the Minus Zero team presenting a token of appreciation to Dr. Wissing. Reflecting on the visit, Gagandeep the founder of Minus Zero said, Our discussions with Dr. Wissing were insightful and encouraging. Germany's commitment to embracing new technologies and their belief in the capabilities of Indian technology presents a vast array of opportunities in the AV sector. We foresee numerous possibilities for collaboration and mutual growth in this space.