10 February 2021

Digital Forge drives enthusiasm for machine learning

General Industry

The Digital Forge is helping drive innovation and digital transformation at Smiths. One of its aims is to build core capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, data analytics, connectivity and data security across the Group.

During FY2020, the Forge ran a competition to help colleagues improve their machine learning skills and encourage those not from science or engineering backgrounds to learn more about it. The challenge was to build a self-driving algorithm and teach a remote-controlled model car how to navigate a racecourse by itself, as fast as possible.

The competition was embraced by 35 teams from all over the world. Seven winners from different divisions competed at the Digital Forge, in San Francisco, to race against each other to decide the ultimate Smiths Self-Driving Car Champion.

Some of the model cars achieved speeds of up to 10mph. Our Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and JehanZeb Noor, Chief Executive, Smiths Medical all attended the final and awarded the trophy to the winning team.

The competition was a great success, driving enthusiasm for machine learning and highlighting internal collaboration opportunities within the business. It also opened new career paths for some participants as a result of them demonstrating their exceptional software engineering skills.

Model cars

Group of people

Trophy