High School Autonomous Vehicle Project
The High School Autonomous Vehicle Project (AVP_HS) is an endeavor to foster education about self-driving car technology. It is a project branching off of the NW Advanced Programming Workshop, a program through which students learn about computer programming by working on software projects during the summer.
I created the Mandelbulb Viewer with two other teammates during my first year in NWAPW, summer 2017. Then in summer 2018, I moved on to working on the Autonomous Car Project. For four weeks, about 15 of us highschool students wrote software for a model autonomous car. The car (pictured below) is a converted RC car with the motors controlled by a Latte Panda microcontroller board that navigates using on the FLIR camera mounted in front. It is capable of following a road laid out on the floor and detecting stop signs. It was coded almost entirely in the 4 weeks and from scratch (no image processing or machine learning libraries). More development will continue in the coming years with more students from the program.
All of our code is open source (Github). We hope to make and ship out cars like the ones we built to computer science programs in schools worldwide to allow students like us to learn about autonomous cars using the software platform we've built.
The car on display at our booth, sitting on a table behind the awards we received. The conference was held at the AutoWorld car museum, so some ancient Fords can be seen in the background.
A video overview of our progress at AVP-HS during 2018
September 2018, about 10 members of our team travelled to Brussels, Belgium to present our work at the AutoSens conference. AutoSens is a gathering of professionals from the autonomous car industry, largely those working in sensors and machine learning. We were the first students ever to be invited and it was very exciting to get an inside view of the bleeding edge of autonomous car technology. At the conference, which was held at the AutoWorld car museum, we demoed our car driving itself around a track at our booth and gave a presentation and Q & A about our program. Our goal was to raise awareness and funds to continue developement and begin distributing cars. The professionals at the conference were very impressed by our work and we proudly received the conference's highest award, the "Inspiration Award", and the 2nd place "Outreach Award" at the awards show. I was even interviewed and quoted by 2025AD, a newsletter dedicated to the autonomous driving community. (article here).