The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) has launched a local schools competition calling on Year 12 students across Milton Keynes to imagine the future direction of self-driving vehicles.
The TSC is currently overseeing the development and testing of three pioneering LUTZ Pathfinder self-driving pods which are due to be trialled on the pavements of Milton Keynes next year. For the “Pods of the Future Year 12 Challenge”, however, the Catapult is encouraging MK pupils to think further ahead – by creating designs for how driverless pods could look in ten years’ time.
“Driverless vehicles are only in their infancy right now, but there is already a huge amount of excitement about the potential for this technology,” said Neil Fulton, TSC Programme Director for Automated Transport Systems, at a launch event and workshop held on Friday and attended by pupils from three MK schools.
“It’s entirely possible that today’s school pupils will be one of the last generations to drive conventional cars,” Mr Fulton added. “So it will be fascinating to see how they imagine the future of autonomous vehicles.”
The “Pods of the Future” competition is open to all Year 12 students attending schools in the Milton Keynes Council catchment area. Entrants must submit an A3 illustration of a pod that is driverless, a completely unique design and in alignment with current and emerging technologies so that it is realistically possible for the year 2025.
They must also provide an A4 “design rationale”, setting out more details about their pod and how it works, along with an application form for each participating school signed by a teacher.
Entries have to be submitted by Thursday 4th December, after which ten shortlisted entrants will be invited to give a three-minute presentation on 16th December to a panel of transport professionals at the Transport Systems Catapult headquarters in Central Milton Keynes.
The eventual winner will be given the opportunity to organise a work placement at the Catapult, working alongside the team who are developing the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless pods.
For more information on the “Pods of the Future” competition, please click on the document links below:
Schools in the Milton Keynes area seeking more information on the competition can also email the Transport Systems Catapult at firstname.lastname@example.org
To download images of Friday’s launch event, please click here.