How to Become a Self-Driving Car Engineer

For years, industry leaders have had growing excitement about autonomous vehicles. These self-driving cars seem like the way of the future, making deliveries and travel easier than ever to conduct. 

Over the years, driverless cars have experienced steady growth and development. However, there are still several safety concerns surrounding this new technology. For this reason, the self-driving car industry wants the best and brightest minds to carry the ideas to completion. 

These opportunities pave the way for a car engineer to build their career. Self-driving car engineers can help the world pioneer a new technology straight out of The Jetsons!

You may wonder how to become a car engineer. If so, keep reading! We’ll explore how to get started in the guide below. 

Start with the Basic Car Engineer Skills

Any type of engineer has to be math-sufficient. So, start with the basics. Maybe it’s been a while since you were in school, so dust off the books and study math. 

It’s often best to go back to the essentials. Start with elementary-level math to get warmed up in your studies. Then, make your way through middle and high school math. 

Once you’ve mastered these levels, move to the advanced stuff. College mathematics usually includes linear algebra and calculus. It’s usually best to take college courses for these subjects, instead of learning them yourself. 

Coding Requirements

These days, car engineers need proficiency in software engineering. After all, a driverless car isn’t really autonomous. All it’s doing is following the code that several engineers used to program it. 

But, if you have any experience with coding, you know there are several languages for it. So, which ones should you study as a car engineer?

It’s usually best to study C, C++, Python, or Linux. These are some of the most common languages for autonomous vehicle careers

Education Requirements

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to teach yourself all the skills needed for a car engineer position. Generally, the self-driving car industry expects its engineers to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following:

  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • System engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Robotics

Although an engineer can get by with a Bachelor’s degree, most would hold a Master’s. The industry also expects them to write concise and extensive codes. 

Additional Requirements and Tips

Education and skillsets go a long way in employers’ eyes. But, they often want to see that you have practical experience in this field.

What does that include? Some examples of past experience might be software engineering, machine learning, or distributed computing. 

Employers look even more favorably on experience with autonomous driving, testing algorithms, and traffic simulations. These skills and fields have a much more direct tie-in to this industry. 

Start With Your Education

If you want to be a car engineer, we recommend you start by getting your education. While you can learn many of these skills alone, it’s often best to apply for a school program. This way, you can learn these skills in a structured way.

Once you begin your education, look for opportunities to gain real-world experience. This way, you’ll look even better to employers!

We hope you enjoyed this article! If so, check out our other career tips today. We have several pieces to help you find the career of your dreams.

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