We gave away a small handful of prize-draw tickets to our upcoming Self Driving Track Days event, taking place on July 10th 2018 in Milton Keynes, so we wanted to find out a little more about two of our winners, Anna Relton and Dr Tim Biggs…
Tell us about yourself – where are you from and what do you do?
AR: I’m from Cambridgeshire, and I’m a student at Loughborough University. Although Loughborough Uni is sport/engineering central, I study psychology, and I’m currently working for a year on placement and work part time for Vectare, a transport consultancy, as their Marketing Strategy Manager.
Vectare provides innovative transport solutions, developing new technologies with our in-house team and using data analysis to advise consultancy clients. One speciality is coordinating home-to-school transport solutions for Independent Schools, by redesigning their school bus networks to maximise profit and efficiency, but also providing online booking systems, real-time vehicle tracking, and postcode search functions to help parents find their local bus stop and route. Furthermore, we have been able to provide similar services for municipal bus companies from major cities too.
TB: I am a physicist working for AVX Electronics Technology Ltd, which is part of the AVX group of companies. We primarily develop, design and sell automotive sensors under the AB brand, in a range of global markets to Tier 1s and OEMs.
Our product range includes position, temperature, pressure, liquid level, liquid quality, speed, electric motor encoders, pedals and ride height monitoring across a range of technologies. My role involves design and development of new sensor technologies and systems, maintaining up to date knowledge of new technologies and trends, and sharing knowledge across our group of companies.
Why do you want to learn more about the technology in this field?
AR: Driverless technology is going to revolutionise transport in general, and but also change the game for transport companies such as ours when planning for future investments and expansion. Vectare will eventually have a wider fleet of vehicles, and some may well end up being driverless to maximise efficiency, customer experience, and minimise overhead costs.
It’s always exciting to see what other companies are doing that may integrate with our work. It’s possible that we would want to invest in hybrid solutions or simple technologies that complement our existing services in the future, and so it’s events like Self Driving Track Days that allow us to scope out what solutions and projects are out there.
We are in a really fortunate position to have links with Universities such as Loughborough (renowned for engineering), Exeter and Aston, and have been able to hand-pick the best of the best for different projects and teams we have created. It’s pretty exciting to us that we could enable the next generation of engineers and computer scientists to get involved in transport as a career path and work on new technologies that will revolutionise public transport as we know it.
TB: I want to know how to leverage our current portfolio into the emerging autonomous market, what areas we should aim to be working in the future, and understand more about the current sensing problems.
What sort of companies and professionals are you hoping to meet?
AR: Really anyone we can collaborate with, either now or in the future! This field is something we are keen to investigate and experience first hand. We have various partners that will be so excited that we are looking into and experiencing driverless technology. We’re also hoping to come across companies and solutions that we haven’t heard about before, particularly new innovations, as these are the products and systems that will help us to think outside the box and push the boundaries in our own work.
TB: I am interested in meeting makers of autonomous systems/vehicles to learn about their challenges, as well as academics to learn about future developments.