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Mapix supports Grampian Transport Museum’s new ‘Probing the Future’ autonomous car exhibition

Posted: 1st April 2019

New exhibition showcasing the latest LiDAR technology and its’ impact on social change starts Saturday 30 March in Aberdeen, Scotland.

When Grampian Transport Museum opens the doors to its exciting new 2019 exhibition on Saturday 30th March, visitors will enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the future of autonomous motoring in one of the most exciting exhibitions the museum has ever staged. A brand-new audio gallery has been built on the mezzanine floor to immerse visitors in the story of the development of this revolution in personal transport.

Mapix technologies Ltd is proud to be supporting ‘Probing the Future’ which will explain the technology and advancement of autonomous and electric cars and their associated social impact. Wide ranging from the environmental impact due to a decrease in car ownership, the effect on infrastructure and public transport, to the impact on economics, employment and safety.

Museum curator Mike Ward’s eyes sparkle as he tells the story so far “Last year we exclusively revealed that the first ever recorded electrically powered carriage was developed in 1839 by Aberdeen chemist Robert Davidson and ‘…carried two people across a rough wooden floor…’ in his Canal Street workshop. Our display of electric cars throughout the years from 1890 right up to date was one of the first of its kind in the country and was a big hit with our visitors.

“This year we have we have taken another big leap forward and have what we believe to be the best exhibition of its kind currently on display in the UK bringing to life the reality of the transport of the future – electric autonomous vehicles. The world of personal transport is at the centre a historic technological disruption and as an accredited museum we have an important educational role explaining to the public what is happening and how it all works.”

Mapix is an Edinburgh based LiDAR specialist company (Light Detecting And Ranging – the technology which is fundamental to how autonomous cars work) and they have helped to create an interactive experience which will allow museum visitors to see how they are ‘seen’ and recognised by autonomous vehicles. Aberdeen electronics expert Syd Fraser, a trustee of the museum, has developed a practical demonstration of the AI (Artificial Intelligence) at the centre of their guidance systems. BMW and BP have provided material rarely seen in public before offering fascinating insights into the development of the technology.

Gert Riemersma, CEO at Mapix, commented, “The interactive display that we have created with the Museum is called “How the car sees the world” and it uses a LiDAR scanner to replicate pedestrians approaching the vehicle, which then works out how the car should respond and carry out a safe course of action.”

Gert added, “We are already seeing some autonomy in vehicles today such as assisted cruise control, lane assistance, automated parking. The area of autonomous cars is fast moving and exciting and it is great to be able to work with the Museum, our suppliers and partners to be able to communicate the potential of LiDAR to a wider audience.”

“This will blow peoples’ minds” continues Mike Ward “It brings right home to Aberdeenshire how fast the world of transport is changing. We will be updating this exhibition every three months because this technology is acceleration at a phenomenal rate. We hope our exhibition will change peoples’ perceptions about huge social change that is on the horizon when they can understand how it is happening. At the museum we are uniquely able to demonstrate the future by referring to the past. Electric cars are not new at all – before the internal combustion engine was mass produced in the Ford model T most cars were electric – we have examples on display. Now we have come full circle in the interests of the global environment. We are hugely grateful for our supporters help and cooperation, which is recognition of the importance of the museum’s role in changing perceptions of the public towards the future of personal transport.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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