A new exhibition at London’s Science Museum will explore what the future holds for driving technology.

Science Museum

Source: Sylvain Deleu

Dominic Wilcox’s Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car of the Future.

The exhibition, Driverless: Who is in control? will open on 12th June and will run until October 2020 at the Science Museum in London. The displays will allow school groups to explore how close we are to living in a world driven by thinking machines.

When visiting, students will learn about a variety of technology from self-driving cars to autonomous flying drones and smart underwater vehicles, and explore how much of this seemingly futuristic technology already exists and extends far beyond the cars we’re familiar with. 

Pupils will have the chance to explore three zones within the display - Land, Air and Water - with each exploring different technology being used in cars.

More about the exhibition

The Land Zone will be full of examples of real self-driving vehicles including the classic 1960 Citroen DS19 car which was modified in the UK to “self-drive” in early experiments in driverless technology.

More modern examples include the Robocar, a self-driving electric racing car, among other examples. Also on display will also be artist Dominic Wilcox’s Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car of the Future – a speculative take on the safety of road travel guaranteed by artificial intelligence.

In the Air Zone, pupils will explore the stories behind drones being developed to deliver goods and services at the speed of flight, from defibrillators for emergency medical response teams to hot dinners for the hungry. This section will also feature autonomous drones being developed to clear minefields, acrobatic drones that will monitor building sites; and drones that use star-mapping technology to detect endangered wildlife and poachers.

And in the final zone, Water, a range of vehicles including a scale model of one of the most recognisable marine vessels in the world – ‘Boaty McBoatface’, part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Autosub Long Range fleet – will be displayed.

The Water Zone will also feature prototype vessels designed to monitor ocean plankton and map the sea floor, helping to uncover how crucial exploratory vessels are to gathering data in certain environments and helping our understanding of the natural world.

Information for teachers:

  • The Science Museum has an extensive education programme featuring workshops for all Key Stages, interactive galleries and resources to be used back in the classsroom after a visit.
  • Entry to the museum is free, however, charges apply for select activities and workshops. Hands-on areas may require pre-booking by schools.
  • Information regarding lunch spaces, health and safety and preliminary visits can all be found on the Science Museum’s learning page.

For more information, visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/driverless