Manx students win Intel award for AI driver safety innovation

18 July 2022

Manx students win Intel award for AI driver safety innovation

Four school children from the Isle of Man have won an international innovation award, sponsored by the American Tech Giant Intel, for a product that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help drivers stay safe at the wheel.

The team from Ballakermeen High School in Douglas was formed as part of Junior Achievement Company Programme – known as Young Enterprise in the UK – which sees young people set up their own small businesses to gain skills and prepare for working life.

A-level students Danielle Wilkinson, Leo Dixon, Freddie Smith and Praveen Balakrishnan – known as Team Apollo - decided to create a product that makes tech that is only available in some top of the range cars, accessible to all.

The team, who are all learning to drive, developed a fully functional Heads Up Display (HUD) from scratch over the next 12 months, which uses AI to scan the road and project upcoming hazards and warnings onto the windscreen.

Last week Michał Dżoga, Intel Poland Country Manager, announced the Manx team as the winner of JA Europe’s AI Innovators Award ahead of hundreds of other teams and said it was a ‘tremendous idea.’

The award recognises the team, which has used AI tools in a ‘responsible way’ to create a ‘purposeful solution’ that addresses a local or global challenge.

Praveen Balakrishnan, who is planning to study at Oxford, said: ‘We are thrilled to win. Our solution uses integrated AI, which we programmed from scratch, in a responsible way to enhance driver awareness and act as a trusted extra set of eyes.'

Danielle Wilkinson added: 'We’re all learning to drive so decided to see how AI could help motorists on any budget and not just those who could afford top of the range vehicles.'

The team is currently in touch with relevant authorities in the Isle of Man and UK about the effectiveness of their solution to ensure it conforms to the relevant legislation.

Sue Cook, CEO of Junior Achievement said: ‘I am delighted that a team from the Isle of Man has won this prestigious award – it is a phenomenal achievement and testament to the hard work of the team and everyone involved in Junior Achievement.’

Julie Edge MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture said: ‘I congratulate Team Apollo for this extremely innovative invention and all their hard work developing it. They are a credit to themselves, their school and the Isle of Man.’

The four students will now attend the GEN-E festival in Istanbul next month – which is regarded as the 'Olympics for young entrepreneurs” alongside Manx champions Mindcore, from St Ninian’s High School.

Watch the interview with the students here.