Scott Shearan – Award Update 6

23/12/17 – 2/01/18Location: Zakopane, Poland   &  Edinburgh, Scotland

Here we go!

Off for our first White Christmas for Brady and myself in Zakopane in Poland. We will be spending 5 days in Poland and then followed by New Years Eve In Edinburgh, Scotland.

First Stop, Fly in to Krakow airport Poland at 10:30pm, hire a car and drive 2 and half hours in the dark and snow to Zakopane. This was a bit of fun with myself not being use to driving on the right-hand side of the road, in a left hand drive car as well as it being manual, but we made it through even though maps were directing us into roads that were blocked off by snow!

The next day we met up with our friends we had planned the trip with which included fellow BBM awardee Jordan Andrews. We got straight into renting the Snowboarding gear and heading straight to the mountains to start ripping up on the snowboard. It was great everything is cheap to rent so it made the trip affordable. So, we spent the day snowboarding and then headed out that night to the city centre where everyone was out enjoying the festive season, we went to a restaurant along the main strip where we had live polish folk music, beer and amazing food, that was just so cheap and delicious.

We also got the chance to book in a day tour at the Auschwitz concentration camp tour where we drove back to Krakow one early morning to board a bus for the tour. The day was quite eerie but very interesting and learnt a lot from what we got to see and listen to. I would recommend anyone who was in Krakow to go on the tour.

Come Christmas day we wanted to have a roast at the accommodation we were staying at, since we didn’t have oven we decided to use the communal fire pit outside, only problem was we couldn’t get the fire going because the wood was so damp, but one of the girls had come up with an idea of using kitchen knives to carve the damp wood until we reached the dry bits in the middle, which surprisingly enough we got the fire going!! After several hours and several blunt knives we ended up with a lovely Christmas day roast.

Over the next few days we spent majority of the time snowboarding, eating and drinking plenty having the time of our lives. I really enjoyed Zakopane, not many people spoke English it was a real polish city where I got to enjoy the culture of the Polish people around Christmas. It was different and I loved it!

Next Stop Edinburgh, we arrived a few days early of New Years’ Eve so we spent the time exploring. It was quite cold around the 1-2 degree mark, but that didn’t stop us from getting out and exploring as much as possible, we got the chance to climb Arthur’s Seat which is the main peak of Edinburgh looking over the city and Scotland, got to see lots of people falling over including my brother Brady while we climb the Icey mountain but it was a great view by the end of the walk. We got to do the underground city where Edinburgh’s old town from the 17th century is and of course we visited the famous Edinburgh castle on the hill that overlooks the city. Had a great time exploring the city.

The next big event was the Mahogany ( what New Year’s Eve is named in Scotland), got to see hundreds of people walking down the streets of Edinburgh with lit torches the night before and on the night itself we got to go the to the world’s biggest new year’s street party, where we had entertainment all night and then got to watch the fireworks display over Edinburgh castle. It was a great way to enter the new year.

The next day we flew back home to Coventry to start work the following day.

1/12/17 – 22/12/17
Location: Coventry, United Kingdom

Time to head back to the UK, but with one more person with me. My brother Brady!

My brother Brady is currently studying a Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering at Macquarie University, I have organised a placement at my work Aurrigo as part of his academic research with his course. He will be with me for 3 months until the end of February. So, we both have touched down in the UK made our way back to Coventry, had a quick sleep then we were straight out to the work Christmas party that same night.

We are heading into winter on this side of the hemisphere and you can feel it!

So much that the first weekend we were back it started snowing and then to follow on the weekend we had a big snowstorm which everyone has said it was one of the biggest falls of snow they have had in so long (over 6 years). So, I didn’t stuff around got out exploring around the city with everyone else who was enjoying the snow.

Work has been extremely busy since I have gotten back, plenty of long days. First week back we had finished another vehicle that was to head out to Australia as well as have filming, interviews and etc on our Autonomous vehicles. We also had a visit from the Guide Dogs for the Blind association who we are working closely with ensuring all standard are met for the blind – this is a very important for us as we want our vehicles to accommodate everyone. With all the wintry weather about as well we got our vehicles out in the snow for some development and some realistic cold climate testing, which meant that we were outside for hours in minus 6 developing the vehicles…. It was so cold! Us Aussies are not use to this. We also ran a trial in Milton Keynes which we had completed over 50 km’s of driving completely autonomously.

We now have access to a large outdoor test facility which is going to help us push and develop these pods.

Finishing up for the year we had a review over the work that had been done and was extremely impressive for what a company of our size is doing. We had discussed on future projects throughout 2018, it looks like it will be a very exciting and busy time ahead, but I am looking forward to it.

5th January, 2018

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