Kinderuni: Autononous vehicles (how) do they work?

The Kinderuni is an institution to deliver University level knowledge, arts, and experiences to students aged 8-12. It is a collaboration between Hochschule für Musik FRANZ LISZT Weimar, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Kinderbüro der Stadt Weimar, Stadtverwaltung Weimar - Amt für Familie und Soziales, Volkshochschule Weimar. The program ranges from science lectures, to arts performances, to lab visits, to experiments and shows. The lecturers come from all over Germany and include hosts of popular children TV shows (Sendung mit der Maus).

With the topic of "Autonomous Vehicles - (how) do they work?", I was invited to give a talk and interactive demonstration at the Kinderuni Weimar. 


Together we addressed the questions of

  • What are autonomous vehicles and how do they perceive their world?
  • How intelligent should autonomous vehicles be?
  •  Are self-driving cars allowed on our roads?

The event was almost fully booked with about 120 students visiting the talk and demonstration. I was impressed with the number of questions the students asked. I had given lectures before in the same room, but this time it was one of the rare occasions where I had to ignore raised hands to manage completing the talk.

As a final exercise the students tried to fool an object detection and classification algorithm into not detecting them as persons. The AV prototype that I had brought was not fooled easily, but still we were able to conclude that further work needs to be done in the (software) engineering of AVs. Maybe in a few years these students will join us.


Learn more about Kinderuni Weimar.