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Driverless Cars in the Classroom: New Code Smart education programme launched to help encourage children into computer science

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From October 2018, driverless cars will be the focus in English classrooms as part of an innovative computing and robotics education initiative – Code Smart – seeking to encourage a new generation to take up coding and design 21st century transport solutions.

Based on the work of leading UK autonomous vehicle software company, Oxbotica, and supported by re/insurer XL Catlin, Code Smart aims to inspire students to think about careers in robotics, artificial intelligence and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).

The initiative comes at a time when computing education in England is undergoing a revolution, with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) being replaced by computing – a move that requires schools to develop students’ software and hardware skills. To date, enrolment for the GCSE of this new subject has been slow, especially amongst female students.

Designed by education social enterprise Encounter Edu, Code Smart uses the real-world example of driverless cars and artificial intelligence to appeal to a broad range of students. Over the course of six sessions, students develop their coding and hardware skills, before attempting a three-session Smart City design challenge. All sessions are aligned to the Computing National Curriculum in England and the ISTE Standards in the USA.

Paul Newman, co-founder at Oxbotica, said: “The world is becoming defined by the code we write. It's everywhere – it brings us together, keeps us safer, entertains, drives, discovers, learns and earns. As such, we’re proud to support an outstanding educational resource that so energetically encourages the development of coding skills – it matters!"

Vincent Branch, Chief Executive for Accelerate, XL Catlin, commented: “Autonomy provides a great opportunity to excite and shape our future world; encouraging this discussion and debate in our class rooms will inspire the next generation of talent to help this become a reality for us all.”

Chip Cunliffe, Director of Sustainable Development, XL Catlin, added, “As a global (re)insurer, building future-focussed risk solutions that help business and society adapt to the ever-changing technologies evolving our world is part of our mission. Educational outreach through high-quality education programmes like Code Smart is a natural extension of that commitment.”


About XL Catlin’s Insurance Operations

XL Catlin insurance companies offer property, casualty, professional, financial lines and specialty insurance products globally. Businesses that are moving the world forward choose XL Catlin as their partner. To learn more, visit xlcatlin.com.


About XL Catlin

XL Catlin is the global brand used by XL Group Ltd’s (NYSE:XL) insurance and reinsurance companies which provide property, casualty, professional and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises throughout the world.  Clients look to XL Catlin for answers to their most complex risks and to help move their world forward. To learn more, visit xlcatlin.com.


About Oxbotica

Oxbotica is a world-leading autonomous vehicle software company. Its technology enables machines – and people – to robustly navigate, understand and act in their specific environments without relying on infrastructure such as GPS. Whether complete systems or individual components, its pioneering platform-agnostic technology can be integrated across multiple domains, from airports and warehouses to mines or even on Mars. Its autonomous control system, Selenium, enables vehicles to sense their environment, while Caesium is Oxbotica’s cloud-based fleet management system, that can schedule and co-ordinate fleets of autonomous vehicles. Oxbotica’s mission is to enable its customers to access, customise and integrate the world’s leading mobile autonomy IP into their own products.

Based in Oxford, Oxbotica was founded in 2014 and is a spin-out from Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute.

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