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Local Motors has teamed up with California's Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to provide an opportunity for students interested in automotive careers to engage in technical education around shared, electric autonomous vehicles. Pittsburg High School will become the first automotive programme in the state, and possibly the US, to provide students with hands-on experience while they learn about autonomous vehicle maintenance and repair. Local Motors – the creator of the world's first 3D-printed car and the maker behind Olli, a low-speed, electric, autonomous vehicle – will donate one of its Olli shuttles to Pittsburg High School's new advanced auto shop program. In addition to the vehicle, Local Motors will make the technical experts on its engineering team available to periodically mentor Pittsburg High School auto shop instructors and students. Pittsburg High School's tech-centric advanced auto shop programme is expected to begin later this year. The advanced auto programme is part of California's K12 Strong Workforce Program grant received by the school district, in partnership with CCTA, aimed at engaging youth in technical education, sparking interest in the transportation industry and exposing them to autonomous and electric vehicle maintenance and repair. "The future of transportation is already here, and Contra Costa County is on the leading edge," said CCTA Executive Director Randell Iwasaki. "CCTA has long been a vanguard to test Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs) as well as secure government permission to allow SAVs on public roads. What we don't have is a trained workforce to support this emerging industry sector. CCTA is committed to supporting the development of a workforce with the training and skills to sustain a new era of transportation." Send me Driverless Weekly Email Local Motors began testing Olli, its low-speed, electric shuttle, at GoMentum Station – the automated vehicle proving grounds co-founded by CCTA – in October. During this time, executives learned of the need for private industry partners to support Pittsburg High School's program in the form of 'in-kind', material, or monetary donations. "Joining the effort to prepare Pittsburg High School youth is our way of getting involved and giving back to the Contra Costa County community," said Local Motors President Vikrant Aggarwal. "The advanced auto program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in technical career education that is immediately practical and a strategic way to participate in the autonomous vehicle revolution." "Thanks to CCTA's dedication and Local Motors' generosity, Pittsburg High School will be the first automotive program in California to offer a curriculum of this kind," said the school's Principal, Todd Whitmire. "By the time our students get all the way through our program, their resume will be robust enough to be able to compete with professionals applying for the same entry-to-mid-level type of jobs, they will have had training and experience in employability (soft) skills, and they will have had professional mentoring. Those who complete the program will be workforce ready and part of the solution for traffic congestion, environmental pollution and poor air quality." Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
A new study exploring the impact of driverless cars on the US state of Tennessee has found that the rise of autonomous vehicles and a transition to electric vehicles will open new opportunities in the state and transform jobs, companies and potentially even industries. In doing so, their arrival is likely to reshape Tennessee's economy, tax revenue and everyday life, found the authors. The study – Potential Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles on Tennessee's Economy – outlines the changes expected in the coming years and concludes that the state must change the way students and adults are trained and educated, rethink the way infrastructure is built and amend the regulations in place for vehicles. Nearly one in six jobs in the state is tied closely to the vehicle sector. Study authors Bill Fox, director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and research associates Alex Norwood and Vickie Cunningham, noted that in 2017, more than 72,000 vehicle manufacturing jobs existed in Tennessee, including those in the vehicle assembly and automotive parts industries. However, found the study, many of these workers may lose their positions or have to transition to making different parts, as electric cars have fewer components. Similarly, while today's vehicles typically derive their value from a mix of 90 percent hardware and 10 percent software, for autonomous vehicles this ratio could be closer to 60 percent software and 40 percent hardware, believe the authors. Impact of autonomous cars on vehicle support jobs Almost 119,000 Tennesseans work in vehicle support jobs at automobile dealerships, gas stations, auto repair shops and maintenance or tyre stores. The study found that nearly all employment in existing vehicle support industries and occupations will change drastically, because autonomous cars are more likely to be owned by fleets than by individuals. “You would request a car, much like you do with a taxi or Uber now,” said Fox. “That means you’re not taking a car to the repair shop, you’re not filling it up with gas and you’re not budgeting for new tires. This shared mobility benefits Tennessean households, potentially saving them up to $5,000 per year.” Send me Driverless Weekly Email The authors suggest that driving jobs may be lost quickly as autonomous vehicles replace the tasks performed by taxi drivers, truck drivers and other drivers. Meanwhile, found the report, other workers who use vehicles intensively in their jobs, such as ambulance drivers, firefighters and plumbers, will see their jobs transformed. In total, believe the authors, nearly half a million jobs are at risk of being impacted by the advent of autonomous vehicles in Tennessee. However, said Fox, “It is important to remember that new vehicle-related jobs will be created, as will other jobs in the economy. Tennessee must transform aggressively if it is to be an economic leader as these many changes occur, and a big challenge is helping existing workers transition to the new opportunities.” Potential benefits of autonomous vehicles for Tennessee Despite the threat to existing jobs, the study found that autonomous vehicles will offer a number of benefits for the state: they are less damaging for the environment; time spent in the vehicles will be more productive; there will be fewer crashes, saving lives; traffic congestion will decrease; and parking spaces can be freed up for more productive purposes. The authors found that Tennessee could benefit in several ways by developing policies now that would give it a chance to become a leader in the autonomous vehicles industry and a desirable base for related industries. “China, Japan, Germany and the EU more broadly are going to do this,” said Fox. “They already have too many cars on the road, and AVs will help alleviate that. Does Tennessee want to be a leader or a follower in this emerging industry?”  Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
Luxury electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors has appointed Dr. Eugene Lee as Senior Director of ADAS and Autonomous Driving. In this role, Dr. Lee will be responsible for the implementation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and the development of autonomous driving technology for the Lucid Air and the company's future models. Dr. Lee joins Lucid with more than 20 years' experience in automotive systems development. For the past 13 years, he played a leading role in developing the autonomous driving strategies and technologies at GM and then at Hyundai. As Hyundai's Vice President and Head of the Autonomous Vehicle Development Center, he established the carmaker's 10-year roadmaps for ADAS and autonomous driving, also launching over 70 ADAS products. At GM, Dr. Lee was instrumental in the development of the Super Cruise automated driving system, defining its concept, technical specifications, and performance targets, while also leading algorithm development. Over the course of his career, Dr. Lee has been awarded 50 patents for his work in the development of automotive systems . Send me Driverless Weekly Email "We are absolutely thrilled to add Dr. Lee to the growing engineering team at Lucid, as he is rightly considered a luminary in the automotive industry," said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid Motors. "Dr. Lee's expertise strengthens our ability to launch Lucid Air as the most technologically advanced car, with competitive ADAS and AD capabilities supported by future over-the-air upgrades." "The Lucid Air is a stunning car, with advanced aerodynamics, cutting-edge powertrain technology, and luxurious interiors that wouldn't be out of place on a private jet," said Dr. Lee. "My role at Lucid is to add even more value to this company's products with class-leading active safety systems and automated driving functionality. Lucid's advanced powertrain technology and intuitive user experience makes the accommodation of these technologies possible, ensuring our customers will experience safe and comfortable automated driving systems." Dr. Lee joins Lucid in the run-up to the company's planned unveiling of the production Lucid Air in New York in April 2020. Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
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