Sustainability Resources for Teachers | AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

For more information on the topic of autonomous vehicles, check out the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems' Autonomous Vehicles Factsheet.

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The curated collection below contains 12 videos, 3 podcasts and 1 game/activity. To access the resource, click on the image below the resource title.

Videos:

An introduction to autonomous vehicles

An introduction to autonomous vehicles

Grade Level: 3-8
Duration: 1 minute 30 seconds
Description: This video from the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) explains the different levels of autonomous vehicles. Students will learn about the benefits of self-driving cars including efficiency, less pollution, and fewer deaths due to car accidents.

 

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Cars

The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Cars

Grade Level: 3-12
Duration: 2 minutes 57 seconds
Description: This video from GCFGlobal discusses the pros and cons of autonomous vehicles. Students will learn that the pros of autonomous vehicles include less congestion, more productive commute times, fewer accidents, and less hassle with parking. Some cons discussed in the video include the expense of self-driving cars and the job loss that would occur for those who are professional drivers such as truck drivers and taxi drivers.

 

Self-Driving Cars Need Lessons On Human Drivers | Maddie About Science

Self-Driving Cars Need Lessons On Human Drivers | Maddie About Science

Grade Level: 9-12
Duration: 4 minutes 10 seconds
Description:This video from NPR's Skunk Bear discusses the challenges with self-driving cars. Students will learn how scientists are studying how humans drive to train self-driving cars to adapt when sharing the road with human drivers.



 

How Driverless Cars can Impact Climate Change

How Driverless Cars can Impact Climate Change

Grade Level: 9-12
Duration:3 minutes 10 seconds
Description:This video from University of California Television (UCTV) explains how autonomous vehicles could improve the transportation system and could be a way to combat climate change. Students will learn about the inefficiency of current methods of transportation and how ridesharing in combination with autonomous vehicles could benefit the planet.


 

How do self-driving cars “see”? - Sajan Saini

How do self-driving cars “see”? - Sajan Saini

Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 5 minutes 24 seconds
Description:This video from Ted-Ed by PBS Digital Studios discusses how self-driving cars detect obstacles and are able to see the road ahead. Students will learn how self-driving cars' light detection and ranging systems (LIDAR) work and about integrated photonics.


 

2020 Mcity Test Facility Video Tour

2020 Mcity Test Facility Video TourGrade Level: 4-12
Duration: 3 minutes 7 seconds
Description: This video from UMich Mcity takes viewers inside Mcity’s Test Facility. Students will learn about the equipment that Mcity uses to test autonomous vehicles.



 

Connected, autonomous cars are key to a driverless future

Connected, autonomous cars are key to a driverless futureGrade Level: 4-12
Duration: 1 minute 46 seconds
Description: This video from University of Michigan Engineering explains how connected autonomous vehicles could improve safety on the roads. Students will learn that self-driving vehicles will have benefits such as greater fuel efficiency, better traffic flow, a higher degree of safety, and more accessibility.


 

Mcity's Autonomous Vehicle Testing ABCs

Mcity's Autonomous Vehicle Testing ABCsGrade Level: 6-12
Duration: 2 minutes 15 seconds
Description: This video from the University of Michigan discusses the “ABCs of testing self-driving cars." Students will learn how U of M researchers are setting standards for their autonomous vehicles that could one day be used as government guidelines for self-driving cars.


 

Self-Driving Cars Could Help Save the Environment—Or Ruin It. It Depends on Us

Self-Driving Cars Could Help Save the Environment—Or Ruin It. It Depends on UsGrade Level: 6-12
Duration: 50 seconds
Description: This video from TIME Magazine discusses how driverless vehicles could help or hurt the environment. Students will learn that, in a future with self-driving cars, transportation energy consumption could decline by 90% or increase by more than 200%, depending on how autonomous vehicles are used.


 

Can You Teach Ethics to a Self-Driving Car?

Can You Teach Ethics to a Self-Driving Car?Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 2 minutes 57 seconds
Description: This video from PBS NOVA discusses the ethical dilemma associated with autonomous vehicles. Students will learn how companies might train cars to make these moral decisions when prompted and how self-driving cars overall would be much safer as they would minimize accidents.


 

Cityscape for testing driverless vehicles rises at U-M

Cityscape for testing driverless vehicles rises at U-MGrade Level: 6-12
Duration: 3 minutes 30 seconds
Description: This video is from UM News Service. Students will learn the benefits that autonomous vehicles could offer society and how Mcity is working to make a future with self-driving cars a reality.



 

Inside Mcity, the University of Michigan’s automotive proving ground

Inside Mcity, the University of Michigan’s automotive proving groundGrade Level: 6-12
Duration: 2 minutes 17 seconds
Description: This video from tech crunch takes viewers inside Mcity, the University of Michigan‘s automotive vehicle testing facility. Students will learn about Mcity’s research and how safety standards and testing are necessary before autonomous vehicles become part of people's everyday lives.

 

Podcasts:

How Will Self-Driving Cars Change the World?

How Will Self-Driving Cars Change the World?Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 27 minutes 28 seconds
Description: This episode of the podcast Crazy/Genius from The Atlantic examines what the future will look like with autonomous vehicles. Students will learn how autonomous vehicles sense and navigate their surroundings and how highways and the automobile have caused problems for society that could be fixed or made worse by self-driving cars. Additionally, the podcast covers the problems that could occur with autonomous vehicles and discusses Mcity’s autonomous vehicle research
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Episode 642: The Big Red Button

Episode 642: The Big Red Button

Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 16 minutes 5 seconds
Description: This podcast from NPR's Planet Money discusses how people get used to automation. Students will learn and/or better understand how humans may begin to accept new technologies such as autonomous vehicles by explaining how people adapted to automated elevators and autopilot on airplanes.


 

In Michigan, A Testing Ground For A Future Of Driverless Cars

In Michigan, A Testing Ground For A Future Of Driverless Cars

Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 3 minutes 37 seconds
Description: This NPR story discusses the University of Michigan's testing facility for self-driving cars, Mcity. Students will learn how LIDAR helps Autonomous vehicles sense their surroundings and about the possible futures for self-driving cars.


 

Games/Activities:

Moral Machine

Moral Machine Game

Grade Level: 9-12
Duration: Variable
Description: This computer simulation from MIT illustrates the ethical dilemma that an autonomous vehicle may face if it has brake failure and must choose between sacrificing lives one way or sacrificing lives another way. Note: This game may be disturbing to some students as they will have to make decisions based on which lives are most valuable. For example, students may have to judge whether a self-driving car with brake failure should continue on its path and hit an elderly person or have it swerve to hit a child.

Autonomous Vehicles icon
An introduction to autonomous vehicles
The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Cars
Self-Driving Cars Need Lessons On Human Drivers | Maddie About Science
How Driverless Cars can Impact Climate Change
How do self-driving cars “see”? - Sajan Saini
2020 Mcity Test Facility Video Tour
Connected, autonomous cars are key to a driverless future
Mcity's Autonomous Vehicle Testing ABCs
Self-Driving Cars Could Help Save the Environment—Or Ruin It. It Depends on Us
Can You Teach Ethics to a Self-Driving Car?
Cityscape for testing driverless vehicles rises at U-M
Inside Mcity, the University of Michigan’s automotive proving ground
How Will Self-Driving Cars Change the World?
Episode 642: The Big Red Button
In Michigan, A Testing Ground For A Future Of Driverless Cars
Moral Machine Game