Chief Technical Oﬃcer
With First Careers you will meet lots of diﬀerent people with lots of diﬀerent jobs! Technical whiz Tim works at Fusion Processing, a company that makes the clever gadgetry that allows driverless cars to operate.
What I do
My job is to put the brains (and eyes and ears) into driverless cars. My team and I design and build sensors that allow driverless cars to know where they are and what’s around them. We then program a computer to make decisions about what the car should do next.
How I got my job
The company where I previously worked was closing, so my friends and I decided to start a new company working on sensors for driverless cars. A few years later we teamed up with another company to put our sensors and computer on their car, so that it could drive itself.
What I love about my job
I get to play with the latest technology and make systems that solve new problems. I also get to work with some clever people, so every day is interesting. We sometimes travel to other countries to test our systems and there is usually some time for sightseeing.
What’s diﬃcult about my job
Working out how to make the computer do what we want can be tricky and it doesn’t usually work ﬁrst time, but we get there in the end. What skills I need Being good at maths is important, but the main things are to be interested in the challenge and to be good at problem solving. I always ask myself: “Has someone tried this before?” and if they have: “How did they do it?” We are always creating new technology, but we also try to learn from what other people have done.
Where should young people start if they want to do the job, too?
Work hard in maths and science. Try writing computer programs, making electronic circuits and ﬁnd out what you enjoy doing most. You never know what job you will enjoy most until you’ve tried a few diﬀerent things.
How my job could change in the future
Most driverless cars are experimental projects. In the future, we hope lots of people will own one, so we will need to work on how the owner talks to and uses their driverless car. As driverless cars become more common on the roads, we will need to work out how they interact with each other, too. It’s an exciting time to be working on this technology!