The autonomous vehicle industry has gained a lot of steam recently and is expected to grow exponentially over the coming years. Leading market consultant firm BCG predicts that by 2035, more than 12 million fully autonomous vehicles will be sold per year globally. As we come closer to a fully autonomous future, we need to focus on accelerating the development of this technology. Ultimately, that comes down to the automotive talent of the future.
At Civil Maps, we have partnered with the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship to help train the engineers of tomorrow. U-M is the leading university in the country when it comes to autonomous tech development. Through U-M’s TechLab at Mcity program, a learning incubator that connects students with early-stage technology companies, students learn practical tech development by working directly with companies like Civil Maps. This provides students with invaluable real-world experiences and industry connections, all while earning class credit.
U-M’s TechLab recently held a Future of Mobility demo day where Civil Maps interns Matt Dreisbach, Charu Dwivedi, Ian Rios-Sialer and Vincent Salpietro presented their accomplishments from working alongside us. Students from U-M have collaborated on active research and development projects that enter production stages or get fully productized at Civil Maps. Specifically, our interns have been working on data collection for the Atlas DevKit, sign detection using LiDAR and cameras, and a regression algorithm to predict the inertial measurement unit (IMU) drift in the Atlas unit.
Through the U-M TechLab program, Civil Maps also gains access to Mcity, the world’s first purpose-built environment for testing advanced mobility vehicles and technologies. Mcity was founded in 2015 as a private-public partnership that takes a multidisciplinary approach on the future of transportation and mobility. With over 65 industry partners to date, $16 million in investment and over 30 research projects funded, Mcity is realizing the potential of emerging mobility technologies. It sits on a 32-acre site on U-M’s North Campus, with 16 acres of simulated urban and suburban streets for safe, rigorous, repeatable testing before new technologies are tried out in real traffic.
These types of partnerships between academic institutions and the private sector are the crux of advancing the autonomous industry. In addition to exposure to cutting-edge technology, these students are getting a jumpstart on their careers by networking with companies that may ultimately recruit them. This summer, we’re excited to be working with some of our U-M interns at our headquarters in San Francisco. It’s been a fun and fruitful engagement. We truly appreciate the hard work!
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