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Foreign-born Ph.D. graduates with science and engineering degrees from American universities are only half as likely to work for technology start-ups as US citizens, despite applying to and receiving offers for these jobs at the same rate. That’s the finding of a new study by researchers at Cornell University, which discovered that these graduates prefer to work at larger technology companies with the resources and experience to sponsor foreign workers for H-1B or permanent residency visas. According to the researchers, the findings suggest that visa policies are an obstacle for smaller technology companies, such as those working on connected and autonomous vehicles, who plan to hire foreign-born workers with specialised, in-demand skills. More than half of the Ph.D. graduates in some disciplines in STEM fields are international, creating an uneven playing field for start-ups competing with established companies to attract top talent. Send me Driverless Weekly Email “Startups are an important engine for innovation and economic growth,” said Michael Roach, from the university’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. “A key insight from this research is that rather than fostering entrepreneurial activity, U.S. visa policies may disadvantage young technology startups – and this applies to startups founded by immigrants and U.S. citizens alike.” While hiring is already one of the key challenges for early-stage technology startups, said Roach, “current U.S. visa policies make it even harder”. The researchers, who conducted a nine-year survey of more than 2,300 Ph.D.s for the study, pointed to figures from the National Science Foundation that found that half of the people who receive computer science doctorates from US universities were born in other countries. They said the figures highlighted the importance of access to this talent pool for both small and large companies. “Over the past few decades, the American economy has become more dependent on science and technology innovation for growth, and at the same time, our science and technology Ph.D. programs have become more dependent on foreign talent,” said co-author John Skrentny, director of the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research at the University of California, San Diego. “We often see great innovations coming from Google and Apple, but a lot of their innovation is actually from buying startups,” Skrentny said. “These startups have trouble accessing the foreign talent our best universities are graduating.” Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
Self-driving truck company TuSimple has partnered with Pima Community College in Arizona to announce the launch of the first autonomous driving certificate programme for truck drivers. The Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist programme aims to prepare individuals for jobs such as training the autonomous system as test drivers, operating the vehicle in situations where autonomous driving is not suitable, and remotely monitoring the system from a command centre. “It’s clear that the future of truck transportation will offer new employment opportunities for today’s drivers but it will require a set of new skills,” said Lee Lambert, Chancellor of Pima Community College, which is one of the largest multi-campus community college districts in the US. “Working with TuSimple to develop this Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist  certificate program ensures our students will build competencies in multiple areas – from logistics and information technology to automated industrial technology. These areas are being transformed by autonomy and drivers will need training in order to interact with autonomous trucks.” Send me Driverless Weekly Email TuSimple and Pima Community College have created a curriculum for the programme that includes courses such as ‘Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles’, ‘Computer Hardware Components’ and ‘Transportation and Traffic Management’. As well as teaching students about the different elements of autonomous driving, TuSimple said that it would prioritise hiring graduates from the certificate programme for jobs at its testing and development centre in Tucson, Arizona. “In keeping with TuSimple’s mission to create the safest autonomous driving fleet, an essential aspect of the training program is to ensure that drivers have access to appropriate training for this new technology and employment opportunities,” said TuSimple’s Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Xiaodi Hou. “We commend Pima Community College for offering this innovative and exciting program that can help address the acute driver shortage. The program offers driving professionals a smooth transition into an emerging field that requires different skill sets in addition to existing truck driving knowledge by providing training.” The partners said that the autonomous driving programme was created against the backdrop of a US Department of Transportation study examining how the development and deployment of automated vehicle-related technology is expected to impact the transportation workforce. The first phase of the study will focus on jobs in the long-haul trucking and transit bus sector. TuSimple says that as autonomous technology creates new jobs, it wants to be a catalyst in providing talent to and access to job opportunities in the transportation industry. The Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist programme will be offered at Pima Community College starting in September 2019, with registration beginning in August 2019. The partners plan to collaborate with other schools interested in offering the same programme. Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
Ford Motor Company has opened a new research centre in Tel Aviv to focus on identifying technology partners in the areas of connectivity, sensors, in-vehicle monitoring and cyber-security. The company has appointed Udy Danino, Founder and CEO of Ford-owned computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS, as the technical director of the Ford Research Center, Israel, which is located at the heart of Tel Aviv’s technology community. Ford said that the new center would serve as a research hub augmenting its global Research and Advanced Engineering team. It will also support the company’s automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and start-up companies in a range of areas, including automated-systems research. Send me Driverless Weekly Email The company believes the new centre will play a significant role as Ford works to design smart vehicles for a smart world. The research centre will include a vehicle lab to support proof of concept efforts and AI work conducted by the SAIPS team. “We recognize the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems,” said Ford Motor Company executive chairman Bill Ford, who opened the research hub. “This new center is not only an expansion of our existing Research and Innovation centers but provides an opportunity to join a growing innovation community in Israel.” “Expanding Ford’s presence in Israel with the new Research Center will allow us to engage with the best technology and leading companies a lot faster, and further support Ford’s goals of bringing together our vehicle and technology expertise to create new solutions to meet the mobility challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Danino. Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
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