Driverless Vehicle Makes National Debut at MOSI


The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is a trailblazer in the tech world. This morning the museum invited guests to experience their brand new autonomous vehicle techonology. 

MOSI is the first in the entire nation to offer this kind of interactive experience to the public. When we arrived we were picked up by the Meridian Shuttle, a driverless, electric vehicle. 

“By making these new and developing technologies accessible to everyone, MOSI gives its visitors a sneak peek into their not-so-distant future and inspires our next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors to see that anything is possible.” said Molly Demeulenaere, Interim President and CEO of MOSI. Demeulenaere expressed her desire to faciiitate important cultural conversations between generations in MOSI's new exhibit.

"There's one generation who's just now discovering this technology and another that has grown up with it," said Demeneulenaere. This divide and push for an engaged audience is at the heart of MOSI's summer of innovation. 

Tampa has already had some experience with autonomous vehicles. Audi has tested their self-driving car here and in Clearwater. "The Florida Department of Transporation is very interested in this techology, we're excited to help promote the progress." 

This new addition to MOSI will also field some of the major looming questions about intelligent technology and its implications. "MOSI empowers people to embrace their curiosity regarding these new technologies in a safe and protective environment" said Demeulenaere. 

One divisive issue that will be brought to the museum is the place of drones in the world. Matt, a rep from Turn Aviation, was at the museum this morning providing some new information about how drones will benefit local economies.

"Agirculture, mining, power and pipe lines, real estate and land survey," are just a few of the industries that will directly benefit from drone use, Matt told us. They can more effectively survey land, lay out fertilizer, and inspect above and underground. While drones are more publically associated with military operations, MOSI hopes to show their commericial utility. 

When their Innovate exhibit opens this July attendees will have the opportunity to experiment with drone technology. "[The exhibit] is a way of removing apprehension toward new technology. Innovate is an all-immersive experience." said John Scotello, Director of Exhibits. He noted that the exhibit will be anything but static. It has a 1950's modernist feel and will rotate new experiments and pieces of innovation on a basis that could be as rapid as 10 months. "We want to continue to push innovation in Tampa." 

This summer plan on learning how to code robots, fly a drone and get chauffered by a vehicle with its own sense of direction at MOSI

The autonomous vehicle experience opens to the public on Saturday, June 13 at 10am. The autonomous vehicle experience is included with admission to the museum. You can schedule a time to ride upon arrival  MOSI's planned Drone Zone will open on July 6. The Drone Zone will be incorporated into the museum's newest exhibit Innovate which features the groundbreaking feats in the tech industry that are helping to better the world. 

Written by Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian is the co-founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. A graphic designer by trade, Dex has been witness to Tampa Bay's explosion to become one of the hottest regions in the nation. In 2009, he helped develop the brand for I Love the Burg and in 2014 developed the branding for That's So Tampa and has been a regular contributor to both ever since.