PAVE Essay Contest Winners for 2023 Announced, Albuquerque Location Sponsored by Torc

Partners for Automated Vehicle Education Announces Winners of PAVE Essay Contest and Scholarship Program for 2023

Earlier this week (Monday, May 8) Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) announced the winners of the PAVE Essay Contest and Scholarship Program for 2023. Torc was honored to sponsor one of the three contest locations, Albuquerque, N.M., home to one of our company locations and primary testing center.

The contest encourages high school juniors and seniors to imagine and discuss a future that includes automated vehicles and write about what this technology could mean for their communities, with a choice of three provided essay prompts related to AV technology and its societal effects. The winning essays were selected from over 100 submissions, and a committee of experts from the AV ecosystem scored the student essays.

The winners of the 2022-2023 PAVE Essay Contest in the Albuquerque, N.M. area are:

  • 1st place: Ryan Bunzel – Junior, Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, $2,500 scholarship
  • 2nd place: Briana Pena – Junior, Atrisco Heritage Academy, $1,500 scholarship
  • 3rd place: Aeryona Thompson – Junior, Nex+Gen Academy HS, $500 scholarhip

“Autonomous vehicles offer an opportunity for us to improve road safety, to provide new mobility options for our communities, and to make our transportation system more efficient, more equitable, and more sustainable – but at the same time, there are new challenges that we need to think through,” said PAVE Executive Director Tara Andringa, quoted in the PAVE press release. “The PAVE Essay Contest encourages young people to think about these new technologies and share their thoughts about the opportunities for society as well as how we can address challenges that could arise. We were thrilled that so many students participated in the contest, and we are excited to congratulate the winners!”

The newly inaugurated annual essay contest will be open to students in selected nationwide locations. The three locations for this year’s contests were Washington, D.C., Albuquerque, N.M., and Athens and Vinton Counties in Southeast Ohio. In each location, companies and organizations will sponsor the contest and donate the scholarship funding: the Washington, D.C., contest was sponsored by STEER Tech; the Albuquerque contest was sponsored by Torc; and the Ohio contest was sponsored by Transportation Research Center, Inc. and DriveOhio.

Details about the contest are available on the PAVE contest website.