Motorsport Jobs: Why autonomous racing offers new opportunities

With the launch of Formula E's driver-less support category Roborace later this year, autonomous vehicles are already making their presence felt in motorsport

Motorsport Jobs: Why autonomous racing offers new opportunities

Masters student and Oxford Brookes Racing team member, Holly Watson Nall, a specialist in electric technologies and autonomous racing, believes more students should focus on autonomous technology.

"There is a huge skills shortage at the moment of engineers with a wide skill base, such as combining computer vision, AI, trajectory planning techniques and control systems," she said.



"Motorsport, especially Formula Student, has always provided the best test ground for both technology and the skill development of the students themselves, creating the best engineers for the future of the industry."



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Holly leads the new Oxford Brookes Driverless team for the FS-AI competition, due to be held for the first time in July at Silverstone, and is really excited about the prospect of promoting autonomous racing.

This will in-turn hopefully attract more students to go down the path of working on driverless cars.



The FS-AI competition is on the back of a very successful Formula Student Germany (FSG) driverless competition that demonstrated the skills of the very best student engineers.



Holly praised Formula Student racing teams, including Oxford Brookes, for the work they do in helping student develop real world skills.

"Oxford Brookes provide the perfect opportunity with their Motorsport Engineering courses," she said.

"In university it's all about getting involved, with Formula Student and other local teams and companies - always be on active lookout for work experience.

"I took an industrial placement year, which I'd really recommend; a year in the industry before you've graduated is so valuable to future employers."



University is the perfect setting for students to develop an understanding for autonomous technology, whether that be in automotive or motorsport.



"At your university, check if there are plans to start a driverless Formula Student team," said Holly.

"If not, start one! If you're an engineer, get in contact with your Computer Science and Robotics departments if you have them, they will likely want to be involved too."



For students looking to work in motorsport, she highlights the importance of getting hands on experience wherever you can.

She highlighted that Oxford Brookes' course provided the skills, while the Formula Student racing team allowed people to put them into practice.



Having work experience and mixing within the industry allowed Holly to find her passion for autonomous racing and learn how she can develop that into a future career.

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