Making a Self-Driving Car

Version 4



    To question whether a society with self-driving or driver-assisted cars is desirable and how complex it is to create one.


    This is Lesson 1—students become familiar with the software interface, the buggy, and the Genuino 101. They should see the Genuino 101 as a black box which processes inputs and creates outputs at this stage.


    At a Glance

    • Age Level: 12-14 years old, 15-18 years old
    • Subjects: Design and Technology, Computer Science, Technology and Engineering
    • Time Needed: 1 hour


    Learning Objectives

    All students will be able to turn an LED on, understand the task, and how all components will contribute to making the self-driving car.


    Standards Alignment

    Computer Science PoS for Key stage 3

    • Design, use, and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behavior of real-world problems and physical systems
    • Use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems
    • Understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR, and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming
    • Understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
    • Undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals meeting the needs of known users
    • Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly, and securely


    Inquiry Process

    Lesson 1 focuses on familiarization, so they will learn to understand the task and reflect on how they can extend the task.


    Prerequisite Skills

    Understanding of flowcharts to describe a process.



    Working in groups should help resolve any physical or learning disabilities.


    Technology and Resources

    • Genuino 101 starter kit
    • Chassis from 3D printable file



    Introduce students to premade buggy, computer software, and the Genuino 101. The Genuino 101 can be seen at this stage as a black box which can process inputs and create outputs.


    Students will connect the Genuino 101 to the computer already attached to the buggy.


    In this first lesson they will just make the LED switch on or off.


    It may be possible to extend this to use and edit a function to make the LED switch on.


    They will use worksheets:

    1. Connecting the devices (which part does what)
    2. Flowchart for LED



    1. Understanding will be assessed at the end of the three lessons by the collective outcome and the written or spoken articulation of the success of their project. Students will be encouraged to take pictures of the project at important moments that they can annotate as part of the documentation.
    2. Teacher Assessment: watching students work and their contribution to the groups.
    3. Worksheet for Flowchart and which part does what.



    Ian Phillips, Assistant Head (Director of Computing and ICT)

    James Teague, Physics teacher

    David Franks, Computer Science teacher


    The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School

    Butterfly Lane, Elstree, Herts, WD6 3AF UK



    Students will question whether a society with self-driving or driver-assisted cars is desirable and how complex it is to create one.