There’s a revolution going on in car design and it’s called autonomous automotives. What does the future of automotive hold for vehicle design and manufacturing and what skills will you need?
There are 3,000 UK companies involved in the automotive sector, working on everything from plant machinery to luxury cars and there’s a new kid on the horizon…the fully autonomous, self-driving car.
This means that,
the country needs to prepare […] for the factory of the future’ which ‘will require a different set of skills […]’. In factories of the future ‘machining and traditional manufacturing skills will be replaced by advanced programming and machine control skills’.*
There’s no reason to start panicking though, employment in traditional automotive manufacturing is still likely to rise in the medium term. This is about preparing for the future of work in the automotive sector and the new opportunities that it offers.
The development of self-driving vehicles won’t just have an impact on the skills needed in the design and manufacturing process. It is likely to increase the need for the following:
- Computer science teachers to make sure that young people can be taught the skills.
- Policy advisers and makers to ensure that decisions are made that are in the interests of the public
- Philosophical, ethical and psychological experts to advise on any potential issues or difficulties
Disrupting the market
It’s not just traditional vehicle manufacturers that are getting in on the act. Tech companies like Google and passenger transport companies like Uber are joining in too. You could find yourself working for a company like Apple.
- 1.7 million cars were built in the UK in 2016
- 2.5 million engines were built in the UK in 2016
Levels of automation
Driver assistance: lane keep assist, cruise control
Partial automation including super cruise park assist
High automation including highway pilot and self-parking
Full automation where the driver is not expected to control the vehicle at all