Preparing Students for Technical Careers in Autonomous Technologies for Commercial Trucks and Off-Highway Vehicles
To increase safety and reduce costs, autonomous technologies are rapidly growing in commercial trucking fleets and off-highway vehicles. Autonomous technologies require a variety of devices, including radar, lidar, video camera systems, communication systems, and differential global positioning systems. Truck service technicians need to be trained to troubleshoot, diagnose, repair, and calibrate these devices and vehicle control systems. However, technician training programs have not kept pace with the new technologies or the increasing demand for technicians with these skills. To address these needs, this project will offer training workshops for instructors in diesel and truck technician training programs. These workshops will help instructors enhance their training programs to include the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for maintaining autonomous technologies in vehicles. The project is led by the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence, a consortium of public post-secondary colleges with transportation programs. The project will provide consortium members with shared access to vehicles with autonomous technologies. These vehicles will be used for the new training programs, as well as outreach. This project intends to prepare students for technical careers in a growing field that requires new skills and understanding of autonomous technologies for vehicles.