In education there exists an old statement about preparing children for the path instead of the path for the children. As Stevenson’s Computer Science students recently learned, new successes with a similar philosophy now exist in the automotive world—a world in which engineers are rethinking ways to prepare vehicles for the road.
Stevenson was lucky to get an inside look at the driverless trucking world when a Starsky Robotics software engineer and infrastructure leader connected to chat with a group of interested students, faculty, and staff. Through their time together, students learned both about Starsky’s efforts and about paths that lead to working in the field. Stevenson students posed serious questions about technological capabilities, programming preparation and experiences, and risk management, and they were fortunate to have Starsky staff dig into each question for in-depth responses. From startups to software and from road safety to career planning, the student discussion with Starsky was as substantive as it was exciting. To someone who simply overheard the discussion with Starsky, It would not be a stretch to mistake that Upper West Side chat for a Silicon Valley business meeting.
Following the chat, the Computer Science classes may still be rooted in Manhattan, but thoughts about the future now go well beyond our school walls and such things as the AP Computer Science exam. With their gaze on autonomous vehicle technology, road safety, and driver quality of life, Starsky is blazing a trail for driverless trucking, and by connecting with us at Stevenson, they have helped us all think seriously about where we want to go and how we may get there.