Science

19-year-old Romanian wins Intel science fair with cheap, self-driving car tech

ionut-romania-self-driving-car

Intel has just awarded $75,000 to a Romanian teenager who created a model for a low-cost, self-driving car.

For his entry in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (a huge international science competition for high school students), the 19-year-old Ionut Budisteanu created a realistic design for a car like Google’s self-driving cars. The big difference is that his version would be viable around the world, not just in super-rich enclaves like Silicon Valley.

His work earned him the Gordon E. Moore Award, which is named after another scientist: Intel’s cofounder. Here’s a demo and first-person video simulation, starting at 3:40:

His innovation is incremental, but decreasing costs is always part of bringing technology to the mainstream. And in this case, as the young scientist points out, it’s technology that has the potential to save millions of lives.

On accepting the award, Budisteanu said he hoped to become a researcher and professor someday. He also said he believe’s humankind’s purpose is to create projects that benefit the world, not just our own communities. What a great guy! We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Budisteanu.