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AutoDrive Challenge II Participants Advice to the Next Generation of Engineers

Posted: June 17, 2022

SAE International’s social media team headed up to Ann Arbor, Michigan to check out all the buzz at year one of SAE’s AutoDrive Challenge II, a four-year competition for participating university teams from the United States and Canada to develop and demonstrate an autonomous vehicle (AV) that can navigate urban driving courses as described by SAE Standard (J3016™) Level 4 automation.

While we were there, we talked to some of the university participants on their experience with the competition and asked them what advice they had to offer for the next generation of engineers.

Here’s what they had to say:

Jingxing (Joe) Qian - University of Toronto, Student Advisor & PhD Student in Robotics

“Keep your hands dirty, don’t just look at the pen and paper. Get involved in real-world projects and talk to others. Our mindset is very limited to what you specifically are working on but communicating with others and asking questions helps to expand everyone’s scope of thinking. Think outside the box!”

Sam Tobin – University of Wisconsin-Madison, Perception Team Lead

“Find something that you actually enjoy doing. I know that there are some things in AutoDrive, I didn’t have a huge interest in, but once I found the computer-based stuff that I really, really enjoy I spent hours doing it and never get tired of it. Don’t force things, I never thought I would end up here doing stuff like this and loving it.”

Hayden Marchel – Kettering University, Events Manager & Coordinator

“Expand yourself as much as possible. I have only ever worked in one place and that work is nowhere remotely close to the work I am doing here at Autodrive. So, expand yourself as much as possible because it is shocking how much things overlap.”

Amhet Yener – Penn State University, Project Manager

Everything is a work in progress. Anything could go wrong but keep overcoming those challenges.

Mustafa Khan – University of Toronto, Perception Team

“Constantly be curious. A lot of the engineering field is a fast-moving field so keep working on that curiosity and trying to learn things as much as possible. Keep learning and stay curious.”

Learn more about AutoDrive Challenge II and tune in next year as teams apply their autonomous technology developments to a 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV at MCity.