This Zimbabwean has built a self-driving car in the UK. And it will be on the streets in 6 months

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A Zimbabwean entrepreneur based in the UK, Pasi William Sachiti, has built a self-driving delivery car which he says will be ready for the streets in just 6 months from now.

The car, aptly called Kar-Go, uses artificial intelligence to drive itself around delivering packages to homes and can deliver up to a dozen of them.

On what pain the car’s supposed to ease, Sachiti told Techzim: “The problem we are trying to solve is that in the world of delivery, up to 80% of the cost of getting a parcel to you occurs in the last mile. We want to remove that cost by automating the process of delivery entirely.”

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Sachiti’s company, Academy of Robotics, has partnered a car manufacturing company called Pilgrim Motorsports, which is helping them make the car. They have also been accepted into Nvidia’s Inception AI Accelerator program which, the startup says, means they’ll have access to more expertise and Nvidia’s GPU and AI resources for driverless cars.

Sachiti’s startup is now fundraising via a crowdfunding platform called Crowdcube. In just 5 days, the company has raised more than £40,000 of its £300,000 target. The money, says the startup, will be used to build the prototype vehicles and the moulds in order to reduce manufacture time per vehicle. They also want to to use the money for driverless infrastructure that’ll allow Kar-Go’s brain to process large amounts of data in real time.

If everything works according to plan, they should have a “street-legal” prototype ready this year.

You can watch this video here to understand more about Kar-Go:

Driverless cars are nothing new, globally. It’s a growing industry that Google, Uber, Tesla and traditional car manufacturers are all racing in. Autonomous delivery is also nothing new as logistics players, including Amazon, have announced they are building drones to deliver to do the task. Kar-Go however solves some delivery economics that drones will struggle with. Drones can carry only a limited number of parcels per trip (that is limit of Kgs & parcel size) making them quite expensive to use.

It’ll also be interesting to understand which of the two methods (Drone vs Car) has more regulatory hurdles to overcome in introducing a technology. My guess is drones, but it’s really just that, a guess.

Sachiti comes to Zimbabwe often (his mother and brother are based here) and told Techzim that his last trip was actually quite recent; “I was last in Zimbabwe 6 months ago, interestingly, I was there to record footage of driving on roads in Harare. We use this footage to have a driverless car learn/ teach itself how do drive on roads with potholes by learning from watching the footage of how we do it”

Kar-Go is not his first startup, Sachiti founded Clever Bins (for which he featured on Dragon’s Den and eventually sold for) and My City Venue, which was also later acquired by another company.

If you’re reading this from Zimbabwe, Crowdcube accepts investments from anywhere in the world and participants can invest from £10 so this may be your chance to own equity in a robotic car startup! In fact, Sachiti told us they have already received some funding from Zimbabwe and South Africa through the campaign!

About Pasi William Sachiti

Pasi William Sachiti is a Zimbabwean UK based entrepreneur who has founded 4 companies, 3 of which he eventually sold. He was featured on Dragon's Den for his company, Clever Bins. His current company is called KarGo. Kar-Go is an artificial intelligence-controlled vehicle designed to deliver packages to homes. Read More

19 Comments

  1. Clevermore Kufundzwa says:

    I am based in the UK and I went to this companies launch event. It was seriously impressive, journalists from all over, some of London’s most elite turned up and A-list celebrities and really could not believe the scale. I though he was Zim only in name but was seriously proud when I heard him speak to someone in Shona. kkkkkk makorokoto, rambai makadaro

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

    Kudos to him… But, I’m wondering about the technical correctness of the article. The wording implies that he owns the company/companies involved. Academy of Robotics and Kar-Go. As well, did he build the car, or is he part of the team that built the car, or owns the team perhaps? It would be nice to clarify this, before giving him full credit for it. I was on the Academy of Robotics website, I would like to believe that the credit cannot be stated to be all his. I couldn’t even find him… http://www.academyofrobotics.co.uk/

    1. TendaiEho says:

      The website DOES List him as CEO and founder. As does UK tv, hundreds of publications and interviews with his team not to mention the university he went to and the official video from Academy of Robotics. It’s funny how you cannot accept that there are Seriously innovative and successful Zimbabweans out there and must try poke holes where there are none

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

        I am just seeking clarification, that’s all. I personally do accept anything that I hear at face value. Even here, bad information has been passed around, so I have the right to be skeptical. Now, on which page is he listed as CEO? I only saw a Dr. Elio Tuci when you view the Our Team link. You have not provided a single link to any information, you are just stating that the there are “hundreds” of articles.

        1. David says:

          there is a down arrow under elios’s name where you can see the rest of the team.

    2. Did you play the video in the article?

    3. Just a little research says:

      The official website does list him as founder and C.E.O

      http://www.instituteofrobotics.co.uk/team.html (Click the down arrow once)
      http://www.academyofrobotics.co.uk/

      A UK TV interview credits him as founder and C.E.O

      http://www.londonlive.co.uk/news/2017-06-17/driverless-delivery-cars-unveiled-in-london

      The university he went to gave him a £10 000 and credits him as inventor.

      http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/news/archive/2017/03/title-199081-en.html

      The same university on their official website credits him as inventing the library robot mentioned in the article.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usW8dNsP6Cw

      The DailyMail the worlds biggest online paper lists him as founder and C.E.O.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4577160/Kar-robotic-pod-deliver-direct-door.html

      The companies official video lists him as founder and C.E.O. and as inventor

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfB-yAucipE

      His Linkedin credits him as CEO and founder.

      http://www.linkedin.com/in/william-sachiti/

      About 132 other online papers credit him as inventor, founder or CEO. I think its safe to say the article is pretty correct. Go to google and type in “William Sachiti Kar-go” or just “William Sachiti”

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

        Thank you very much mate. They should update and include those links in the article too. And, I did Google, mind you. Googling Academy of Robotics and Kar-go both lead me to the http://www.academyofrobotics.co.uk/ website. Thanks again for the info!!

  3. ssss says:

    Now thats a startup…

  4. Anonymous says:

    “I was last in Zimbabwe 6 months ago, interestingly, I was there to record footage of driving on roads in Harare. We use this footage to have a driverless car learn/ teach itself how do drive on roads with potholes by learning from watching the footage of how we do it”

    Funny how our potholes are driving innovation!!! (pun intended)

    1. Anonymous says:

      My thoughts exactly, kkkkkkk. We should invent something locally in light of the pothole challenge.

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  7. Tendai Katsuwa says:

    Sando dzake.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Kwete zvema conman akambonyoriwa a few years back: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2015/07/sangulani-maxwell-chikumbutso-the-zimbabwean-inventor-tells-his-story/. When something is legit, its traceable. Kudos to Sachiti, kwete ana Chikumbutso vaida kubira vanhu mari. Maybe I’m wrong, TechZim chimbotipai update on his current whereabouts and the state of his perpetual motion machine.

    1. Dylan says:

      Dont disrespect Maxwell please because you think Sachiti is better than him.

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

        He’s a liar. Those are the people we try to weed out. They’re the ones that make us doubt the authenticity of peoples claims to fame.

      2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

        I’m talking about Maxwell, just to be clear….

  9. Njenge Witness says:

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Comments are closed.