DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Over 40 college instructors from across the country are at Sinclair Community College for autonomous vehicle technical training this week.
The instructors said there is already a nationwide shortage of service technicians, so learning this emerging technology to pass along to their students is crucial for the automotive industry.
This program is funded by a three-year $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, and this marked the second year.
The instructors experienced demonstrations in self-parking, crash avoidance, adaptive cruise control, and other technologies including some that wasn’t available last year.
“Lidar is like a map, a point cloud if you will, and that big technology is something that’s going to be integrated probably onto self-driving cars in the future,” said Justin Morgan, the chairperson of Sinclair’s Automotive Technology. “That’s not on vehicles now, but that’s something that participants last year did not get to experience.”
Many of those participants came from as far as California so they can integrate it in their teachings, in turn preparing their students for when they repair these systems in the near future.
“It’s future technology, but in the next six or eight years it will be mainstream,” said Marty Kamimoto, a representative from Fresno City College in California. “We want our students that are in the existing program now and incoming students to come in, and we’ll have a prepared curriculum to present to them.”
But it’s more than just cool cars.
Morgan said they are still finding ways it will impact society as a whole, including cyber security, infrastructure, and engineering, which will create new jobs that don’t even exist now.
“Security and clouds and networking, that’s going to be going on for automotive vehicles that we currently have in our homes, but that’s going to be integrated ever so more in the next five to ten years,” said Morgan.
Next year is the third and final year that the grant funds the program at Sinclair.