From Mechatronics to Software: 42 Wolfsburg gathering open expert community to shape future of mobility

This article outlines our plan (beta version, May 2021) to build an open expert community dedicated to develop and evolve an Open Educational Resource (OER) meant to become

UNESCO Global OER Logo

a reference point for #nextGenerationEducation, #nextGenerationSoftwareEngineering #nextGenerationMobility #nextGenerationAutomotive — if you are interested to join the community please check out our Fellowship Programs.

The car of the future will listen to you, talk to you, know your favorite routes, music, and temperature settings. It will make sure you are driving safely, comfortably, and sustainably. It will be in constant communication with apps, maps, sensors, and mobility platforms. The car of the future will be running on code.

The automotive industry has been undergoing massive digital transformation over the past few years, transitioning into a model that relies less on hardware ingenuity and more on software-driven electronics. Trends like automation, shared mobility, connectivity, and electrification are increasingly dominating the global vehicle market. The change is happening rapidly with no signs of slowing down, which means that educational institutions are faced with the challenge of producing enough talent to meet this demand for highly-specialized digital skills.

(source: https://www.sitsi.com/volkswagen-carsoftware-right-move-right-time)

One of 42 Wolfsburg’s main objectives for the next 1.5 years is to respond to this challenge by introducing a specialization in Software Engineering Automotive & Mobility Ecosystem (SEA:ME) into the already established curriculum pioneered by Ecole 42 in Paris. With the support of our expert 42 Fellows from companies like Volkswagen, Bosch and Daimler and academics from institutions like TU Braunschweig, Ostfalia, TU Munich or TU Berlin we aim to contribute to a more open, inclusive, and future-oriented mobility ecosystem by teaching state-of-the-art technologies, open architectures, and agile practices.

To achieve this, we have set up two programmes, the Academic and the Industry Fellowship, by means of which we aim to attract an open expert community consisting of fellows who will collaborate intensively and cross-organizationally to develop and pilot the learning challenges that will be added to our existing project-based curriculum. Through hands-on gamified projects, our students will learn about technical architectures for automotive programming, they will tackle questions of sustainability and connectivity and they will be free to experiment in a controlled environment using all sorts of software and hardware tools. Through the education of students at 42 Wolfsburg and in the other organizations that choose to use our educational resources, we intend to bring a fresh mindset to existing and new companies promoting a holistic, inclusive, and sustainable understanding of mobility.

Fab Lab Network by MIT

This initiative will be further supplemented by the use of new technologies and practices such as building autonomous driving robots (model cars), 3D printing, Internet-of-Things, or virtual reality. All of which make learning and developing in this exciting space experiential and fun. To make these technologies tangible and usable 42 Wolfsburg joined the FabLab network setup by Neil Gershenfeld and his seminal Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT. For SEA:ME we want to create hands-on mobility ecosystems together with our students and fellows for the research and development of cutting-edge software/hardware mobility applications.

While we stand at the very beginning of deliberating what the SEA:ME curriculum will contain, the challenge to allow learners to bring hard- and software together has inspired us to explore using inexpensive autonomous driving robot kits as “learning objects”. A first playing ground — our Alpha 42 Mobility Ecosystem table — was unveiled during the 42 Wolfsburg opening on May 10.

42 Wolfsburg Mobility Ecosystem (Alpha Version)

After its successful implementation within 42 Wolfsburg’s curriculum, the SEA:ME specialization track will be ready to be scaled to all (currently 36) 42 schools as well as every other interested learning institution on the planet. Just by offering it through the 42 network of school it will be made accessible to more than 15,000 students worldwide. Crucially, our specialization will be OER and Open-Source, allowing our extensive network of partners from Volkswagen to Google, Microsoft, and Red Hat to name but a few to co-develop it with us and thus participate in building the #nextGenerationAutomotive.

The world is moving towards a new era of transportation and the auto industry’s rules are being rewritten. With the support of senior fellows, our ambitious vision has already begun to take form.

Join our Fellowship Program

If you are an academic researcher, corporate scientist, designer, tinkerer, or engineer with valuable experience in automotive software and mobility ecosystems, we invite you to apply for our fellowship program and join our growing network of specialists.

Send us your application by filling in this form.

Let’s code the future of mobility together!

42 is an innovative, higher education software engineering school, sponsored by Volkswagen

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