Since the first production automobile was introduced back in 1885 by Karl Benz people have been fascinated by transportation. Villages grew into towns and then developed into cities all ‘driven’ by this innovation.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been fixated on cars and soon after developed a ‘need for speed’. It is little wonder that, during my 18 years as an educator, I have worked with companies such as Toyota, Fisker & Segway to create innovative educational projects. My fascination lead to developing Automotive Design projects which have evolved into Electric and Autonomous Vehicle projects in recent years. Even the most skeptical student, and you do get them, can’t argue that this technology will change their everyday lives.
“Our students aren’t always aware of just how quickly technology is advancing around them, it’s up to us to ensure we educate them so they are ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
In April 2019 I was asked to speak at the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport. Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to other commitments. It therefore came as quite a surprise when, last week, I received an email inviting me attend as guest at the next event which is to be held at the World Trade Centre, Dubai. Honoured and very surprised I spend an afternoon taking a look around, engaging with companies and listening to speakers. As an innovation-maniac I was in my element : ) My mind was blown and it reminded me of how important it is that we as teachers share these advancements in technology with our students. Here are 5 take-aways you might be able to use to start the conversations in your class.
5 reasons we should be teaching students about Self-Driving Transportation
It is happening NOW
I didn’t realise just how much money was being invested and what already exists until I walked around. Tesla are known for their cars but there are so many others waiting to launch. Companies have not only created designs and working prototypes, they have already been tested and are ready to be deployed and integrated into our everyday lives. Many of these companies such as DGWorld, Gaussin and I-Auto I’d never heard of, but will no doubt be household names in the near future.
It will affect them FIRST
Generation Z will be the first to experience this technology with no prior experience of driving cars. They will be the ones who will eventually adopt the self-driving trend as it seamlessly flows into everyday life. The older members of society may take a little longer to trust such technologies, as we generally do, after all you can never be too cautious : )
Cities are CHANGING
Dubai has prioritised self-driving transport in its strategy as it moves forward into becoming smart city. A stunning animation took you through the journey of how this will take place. It already has the Dubai Metro, the first driverless metro system, and will be joined by its little brothers and sisters; trams, buses, taxi’s and even drones by 2030. Other innovative cities such as New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore have integrated self-driving transport at various levels. These are cities many of our students may aspire to work in.
Companies are investing BILLIONS
Tesla, Google, Toyota, Scania and GM are all investing billions to get a slice of the action. Experts are estimating this market to be worth over a Trillion dollars over the next 15 years. This means all our students could be a part of its success if we prepare them for it now.
Entrepreneurs are getting INVOLVED
I was watching a demo by a company ‘Circ’ who have created electric scooters, which can be rented for AED3 (approx. 1 dollar) and then the same amount for every 4 minutes of time. Young entrepreneurs are starting these types of businesses, giving everyone an opportunity to be a part of this movement, even our students.
Lets educate our students about future technologies, lets provide them opportunities that will let them innovate and lead in years to come.