With driverless cars now becoming a reality after once being consigned to the pages of science fiction, the world needs a new wave of engineers and programmers to design, build and programme the next generation of driverless vehicles. In order to give our UIV (Year 9) girls a taste of this field of engineering the Smallpeice Trust came in on 11th February to run an all-day autonomous vehicle build.
Students used Lego Mindstorms and iPads to build and programme their own vehicles which they then had to navigate around a city without any human interaction, programming their vehicles to react to emergencies and avoid pedestrians. Advantages and disadvantages of driverless cars were considered, with the issues of potential hacking and liability being top concerns. Inventive ideas with respect to advertising, marketing and corporate partnerships were presented, and the girls went all out designing logos and clever catch-phrases. Judging by the feedback, 'possibly the best session I have ever run' (Smallpeice Trust) and 'I loved that activity!' (UIV), a good time was had by all.
I, for one, am certainly looking forward to purchasing my own autonomous vehicle, possibly the Gucci leather interior option, with a free lifetime Netflix account, so that I can binge the latest series of The Witcher while being whisked away for a Half Term holiday!
Mrs Caryn Harward, Head of Chemistry