Self-driving cars are popping up all over, but UK-based StreetDrone thinks it should be easier for the education market to pick one up, ready with all the sensors and tech on board they need to provide the basis for research and study. That’s why they created the StreetDrone ONE, an electric vehicle built using the Renault Twizy with a suite of autonomous driving sensors, ready for self-driving study.
The StreetDrone ONE is intended to offer a hands-on learning opportunity for students who would like to explore the growing field of self-driving tech, and comes in a number of package options with different sensor loadouts and connectivity options. Fully equipped, the StreetDrone ONE has Velodyne LiDAR, a 360-degree camera, 4 lower resolution optical cameras and RADAR, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi though you can tweak the configurations to only include a few of those, depending on what you need. It’s modular by design, too, so researchers and students can supplement their own parts and software.
This car is kind of like the Raspberry Pi of autonomous cars, relatively speaking, and is meant to make it more affordable for educational institutions to offer up direct, real-world experience working on self-driving cars before students get into the marketplace. The vehicle is up for pre-order now, and will start to roll out to UK university customers beginning in August.
Others have sought to capitalize on the growing demand for autonomous vehicle platforms; one supplier has been very active in the corporate sector, offering up Lexus cars retrofitted with off-the-shelf sensor suites to help companies like Nvidia get started with their programs without much ramp up required. Targeting schools is a smart strategy, however, and one that’s likely to put StreetDrone in a strong position as universities and colleges continue to build up this area of their educational program as a response to market demand.