What is innovation? 

The dictionary defines innovation as changing something established by introducing new methods, ideas, products or services. The word is derived from a Latin word in – ‘into’ + novare ‘make new.’ 

Driverless cars on the road by 2020? 

The video above features a driverless car that Google is working on. Existing vehicles, as we know them, are undergoing innovation. This is a huge leap ahead. 

Who is working on driverless cars? 

There are at least twenty or so tech and auto companies working on various aspects of this innovation. Big names like Tesla, Uber, Ford, Toyota are hard at work to get their cars launched by 2020. Apple computer is working to create software for a driverless car.  

How do driverless cars work? 

There are several systems that work together to make this happen.

Radar systems placed all around a car monitor the positions of cars nearby. 

Video cameras see traffic lights, road signs, obstacles on the road like pedestrians and other cars.

Sensors work to locate the car on the road and in its lane (also keeping the car away from the curb).

Another big component of a driverless car is the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS). See video below for details on GPS systems.

Who drives the car?

All the information collected by the systems described above feeds into a computer. Specialized computer software then processes all this information in order to get the car going, to accelerate, manipulate steering, slow down and come to a stop.     

What drives innovation?

Creativity and necessity are the driving forces for innovation. Math and science are tools that then enable innovators to accomplish their objectives. New products and new ways to do things come from ideas. The Futures Channel strives to promote and encourage creativity as well as getting students to embrace math and science.  

How does the Futures Channel fit into my classroom?

We offer 140 short and engaging videos that will get your students’ creative juices flowing. These are mini field trips that open up many different career fields that they may not otherwise think about. The videos do not talk down to students. They are designed to invite participation.   

Here is what one educator said about this resource: 

“I have used the videos and lessons as a teacher and have encouraged other teachers to use them as a Curriculum Facilitator. They are a great way to create a need for students to learn the materials you want to teach them. They are a great way to launch a unit and/or a lesson. The lessons provide an opportunity for a productive struggle. The videos are relevant and short enough to pique and maintain the interest of students.” J.A.