Maria Laanelepp

Looking back on the Sandbox Digital Product Management Industry Project

Another semester of the Digital Product Management Industry Project has now been successfully concluded. In this industry collaboration-focused course, the participating students are tasked with producing high-fidelity prototypes that could solve the problem statements provided by an outside partner. This time around, the course had five teams that all tackled problem statements from Bolt and the Autonomous Driving Lab here at the Institute of Computer Science.

Digital Product Management Industry Project, is a unique course in the Institute of Computer Science. It teaches the students WHY they should solve some problem instead of jumping directly to HOW they should solve it. Most of the courses focus on methods and algorithms, but before that, you need to be sure you are solving the right problem. We got many imaginative ideas from students on how different customers would use robo-taxis in the future, and these guide our vision for the autonomous vehicles of tomorrow.

Tambet Matiisen, head of the Autonomous Driving Lab

The students participating in the course worked to solve problems arising from using self-driving taxis. They had the following five user groups to focus on in their problem statements:

  • Families with children and pets
  • Elders and people needing medical transport
  • Tourists wishing to visit multiple locations in a row
  • The business traveler who needs a moving office
  • Tourists handling oversized luggage

The students followed these steps during the course meetings over the semester:

  1. Introduction, process overview, and methods
  2. Partner problem statements; team formation
  3. Problem, market & user research
  4. Product vision: design opportunities
  5. Ideation & solution sketching 
  6. Prototyping 
  7. User testing and iterating 1 
  8. User testing and iterating 2 
  9. Final presentations

The project showed the importance of flexibility and resilience. I discovered the importance of a backup plan and being prepared to take the initiative when faced with unexpected roadblocks. This project was a profound learning curve, both professionally and personally. It wasn't just about developing a product but crafting a service that genuinely resonates with users' needs. I am thankful for the opportunity and look forward to leveraging these insights.

Alicia Sudlerd, student

This time, the Industry Project course also had a guest lecture by Kuldar Taveter, Head of Chair of Software Engineering at the Institute of Computer Science, titled “Emotional Goals for Travelers in Autonomous Vehicles.” The participating students hailed from various Master’s Programmes: Computer Science, Conversion Master in IT, Software Engineering, Innovation and Technology Management, and Data Science. Such a diverse group of students brought many different skill sets, experiences, and perspectives to the table. The partners, Bolt and the Autonomous Driving Lab got many new ideas and development courses thanks to the Industry Project.

AIRE tüvitekst

AI & Robotics Estonia (AIRE)


University brings top professionals and future technologies to Ida-Viru County

Clevon ja Isejuhtivate Sõidukite Labor lõid koostöös käed

The University of Tartu's self-driving test vehicle now has remote control capabilities with the cooperation between Clevon and the University of Tartu