Salford University launches autonomous vehicle degrees

The University of Salford has unveiled new undergraduate and Master’s degrees with a heavy focus on autonomous vehicles.

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Starting in September 2018, the BEng Automotive and Autonomous Vehicle Technology course is three years full-time or four years with an industrial placement, while the MSc Advanced Automotive and Autonomous Technology adds an extra year in both cases. According to the university, the courses are thought to be the first in Europe to train engineers in the trio of emerging vehicle technologies – electric, hybrid and driverless.

“The rise of new vehicles over the next decade will be vast and transformational,” said Ghasem Nasr, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Innovation at Salford.  “New technology requires new skills and completely new perspectives on how we think about and engineer cars.

“There is no argument that the demand for different kinds of engineering skill sets is about to take off. The UK government has said it aims to see fully self-driving vehicles on Britain’s roads by 2021, the year our first graduates will enter the job market.”

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Students will be based in a new driverless laboratory and will experience designing and building prototype cars through the Greenpower Electric Car Challenge and industry placements. The courses are primarily mechanical and electronic engineering based, but differ from traditional programmes by offering a combination of tuition and practice in robotics and AI, software and acoustics. An underlying knowledge of ethics and cyber security will also be taught through relevant modules.

“Ethics is particularly pertinent because it is as much about engineering a product which is socially acceptable, as it is about efficiency,” added Prof Nasr.

“What industry needs are graduates who are familiar with a new range of concepts, and experience of working at the cutting edge with industry partners.”

Additional information on the courses can be found here.

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