Hit enter to search or ESC to close
Entertainment

Why College Students Understand Self-Driving Better Than Most

The No Parking Podcast has already traveled back in time once this season to explore the early days of the elevator industry and how it connects to today’s self-driving cars. 

They’re diving into technological archives again in Episode 5, which features Patrick McGinty, a teacher in the English Department at Slippery Rock University who took an unusual approach to his undergraduate course on autonomous vehicles. As Ground Truth covered previously, McGinty asked his students to study public reaction to the introduction of new technologies throughout history, from the washing machine to the Nintendo Virtual Boy, to better understand how innovation is received in our culture. 

Oftentimes, the reaction that students uncovered from the past was intense: enthusiasm and excitement from some people and media outlets, and doom and gloom predictions from others about how the new tech would lead to laziness and safety risks. 

As McGinty recalls: “I had them interviewing older people they knew — grandparents, great grandparents — about these 20th century technologies. I had them doing research in library databases, all trying to stitch together quotes that sort of told the lifespan of a 20th century technology to try to get them to say, ‘Okay, what can we learn from other technologies?” How can we go into this discussion about driverless cars properly calibrated: not too high and not too low?”

Then, once McGinty’s Slippery Rock students learned about how those older technologies were greeted by society — typically with hyperbolic hype or unfounded skepticism — he asked them to discuss the advent of autonomous vehicles today, and how they thought this emergent technology would play out among our communities, now and in the future. 

Ultimately, his course culminated by asking the students to create projects, short stories, graphic novels, screenplays, or other fictional material centered around what they expect to happen to self-driving technology. What they came up with was both surprising and heartening to McGinty.

“They cared about how their parents would adjust to it,” McGinty recalls. “Many of them were healthcare-related majors so they’d ask ‘How is this gonna help my patients? How’s it gonna help the disability community?’” 

Listen to the new episode to hear more from the students’ perspective, and subscribe to the No Parking Podcast for more thought-provoking discussions. 

Choose your lane

How Autonomous Vehicles Distinguish Between Bicycles and People Who Ride Them
Self-Driving

How Autonomous Vehicles Distinguish Between Bikes and People

When it comes to how autonomous vehicles see the world, humans come first, literally. Autonomous vehicles (AVs), like the kind operated by Pittsburgh-based Argo AI, use Machine Learning to detect and classify the objects in their surroundings, identifying people...
Why The League of American Bicyclists is optimistic about autonomous vehicles
Self-Driving

Why a Leading Cycling Advocacy Group Is Optimistic About Autonomous Vehicles

As autonomous vehicle use grows, AV companies and the League of American Bicyclists are collaborating on how to ensure cyclists and motorists can share the roads safely, even if the “motorist” is artificial intelligence software. As part of the...
Opinion

Self-Driving Is Arriving Right On Time. Just Like Ice Cream Did

Seven years ago, I was a self-driving skeptic. Not of the technology. Of all the “experts” promising autonomous vehicles would be everywhere by 2020. You didn’t need to be Nostradamus to know that was ridiculous. All you needed was...
Illustration of a futuristic parking deck turned into a mixed-use space, with AVs driving by
Business

How Autonomous Vehicles Could Help Transform Parking Lots

Researchers say it’s likely that autonomous vehicles (AVs) can help reduce the need for parking lots, opening more room for grass and trees and other elements of nature. It may not seem like it when you’re circling the block...
An illustration of an Argo autonomous vehicle in teal against a backdrop of buildings, a bicyclist, and research papers
Self-Driving

7 Big Breakthroughs From Argo Research at CVPR 2022

The 2022 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2022) is nearly here. Thousands of computer scientists, software engineers, and researchers from around the globe will gather in New Orleans to review and discuss their latest work in...
Self-Driving

Researchers Predict the Future With Lidar Data

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research, a private-public partnership funded by Argo for advancing the autonomous-vehicle (AV) field, say they have come up with a way to use lidar data to visualize not...

Must Reads