Automotive Engineering | Careers and Where to Begin

Automotive Engineering | Careers and Where to Begin


this video is going to cover automotive engineering how to get into the field and a few examples what’s going on in the field but first let’s define some things automotive engineering is about the design manufacturing and operation of cars motorcycles trucks and other automobiles there are a lot of sub disciplines within automotive engineering and there are many things you can work on when it comes to an automobile for example you could work on the safety aspect and assessing various crash scenarios whether it be on the computer to doing actual crash testing cars needing to meet certain standards to protect the driver and passengers the frame of the car would have to be designed properly such that energy from a crash is absorbed or moved away from the driver like I said in a previous video cars are meant to crumple in an accident as engineers to design them like that to save lives of the people inside if the car was extremely strong and no damage was done to it all that energy would be transferred to the people inside there’s performance and analyzing how fast the car can accelerate how quickly you can come to a complete stop which of course is important and more there’s vehicle dynamics and looking at things like braking handling and steering and how the vehicle will respond the engineer who works on this enough to analyze or design the braking the tires and wheels suspension they could work on the frame as well and more there’s the fuel economy where you look at fuel efficiency in miles per gallon and test car emissions such as hydrocarbons carbon monoxide carbon dioxide and so on but of course this wouldn’t be the case for electric vehicles there’s a shift quality where you focus more on the transmission the durability of the car electronics and much more overall just note that there are many components to a vehicle common jobs would be like designing on the computer testing and actually working with a physical vehicle or even manufacturing where your help with the making of the vehicle and its components now when it comes to college automotive engineering is rarely offered as a major at least for undergrad the most common major to go into is mechanical engineering and then you would pursue careers in the automotive industry or you get your masters needing PhD in automotive engineering but that’s not the only option if you want to work on cars I said before that materials engineers can work on cars electrical engineers can work on cars especially with electric cards becoming a thing computer scientists are even needed for self-driving cars to write the programs for the autopilot as an example and there’s even mechatronics which may be its own major depending on your school or just a subfield of mechanical engineering but this can lead you to working on the car control systems and similar aspects and these are just to name a few so you can work on cars through various majors but mechanical is just the most common one people think of and also depends on which aspect of the vehicle you want to work off now a huge area of research you probably all know is self-driving cars companies like Tesla uber Google Toyota Ford General Motors and more are all aiming to get self-driving cars out on the road now we do have self-driving cars right now but there are restrictions to them and at the moment we are still waiting for a fully autonomous vehicle that’s available to consumers but Elon Musk says that we should have a self-driving car that can go from LA to New York completely on its own in the near future though there are plenty of obstacles that exist like being able to sense unexpected encounters like an officer directing traffic or a broken stoplight you need to deal with ethical decisions what to do in a life-and-death situation operating safely in various weather conditions and so on so lots of Engineers will be needed for this can self driving cars have many components to them as well just to name a few there’s the lidar or light detection and ranging which basically uses light to detect surroundings and what you see on the top of the Google car here is an example there’s the GPS which the car uses to navigate to its destination and so that it knows where you are there’s the radar system which is also used to map out the surroundings but using lower frequency waves than light or what the lidar uses and this has its advantages as one example Leiter will not work with heavy fog whereas radar will and then there’s cameras which read the road and the surroundings as well but they can also read traffic lights and research is going into putting these together with even more components to make a safe self-driving car but even though self-driving cars seem to be the main thing happening other aspects of cars are also trying to be optimized take the new Audi a8 suspension this new suspension system incorporates an electric motor for each individual wheel there’s a camera on the front that reads the rode into text bumps so that the air suspension can coincide with those bumps and with those precise reactions you can nearly eliminate vibrations working with the camera and transmission of data could be worked on by an electrical or maybe computer engineer but the suspension system itself in doing tests on vibration would be something a mechanical engineer would do those research going on on materials that aim to make a lighter but safer cars this may involve looking at different types of metals that have different properties like varying strength and density a lot of the metals in cars today did not exist just 15 years ago and we are still continuing to make advancements in this area now just to show again how much there is to work on I found the Forbes article that I linked below that’s titled what will mechanical engineers do after most cars go electric which is a fair question because electric cars don’t have an internal combustion engine and so are the mechanical engineers needed well of course they are even though mechanical engineers do work on engines most of them work on other stuff think about what a car really has the airbag the trunk mechanism the suspension shock absorbers the frame of the car the windshield and even the windshield wipers everything that a car has someone and usually multiple people have to work on design tests and manufacture the article even really shows you the detail and they say how even the plastic taillight cover had to made accurately and economically so that I could fit the car and another engineer even had to design the machine that makes that taillight there’s so much more detail than you may think about all the things that we use so yes mechanical engineers are of course still needed now when it comes to companies you want to work at you may think of some of the typical ones like Honda Toyota for Tesla and so on but there are also suppliers for these companies and I saw multiple articles state that you might even do more of the cool design work at those places that you probably haven’t heard of for example take Honda as an example huge company that I’m sure everyone watching knows of but do you think every single part of a Honda is made by them at their plants because they actually are not many other companies help with certain parts I’m sure most people haven’t heard of the majority of these companies according to invest opee do you see on a motive supplies Honda’s windshields Takata supplies their airbags BorgWarner supplies to automatic transmission systems automatic spring products supplies to sea components and there are more so even if you don’t land a job at Honda or Toyota just realize how many more companies there are that you can work at now something like windshields may not sound very exciting but if you go to the AGC automotives website which I said is the company that supplies their windshields and look at their products you’ll see a lot of things things like heads-up displays on windshields which basically display dashboard information on the windshield so drivers can say focus on the road there’s high insulating glass for heat transfer optimization to maximize comfort they’re trying to make lighter windshields to help improve the car’s mpg by reducing weight and they’re even working on glass where what’s the press of a button you can control how much light and heat comes in which helps reduce the need for a/c so when people say they want to work on cars just realize there’s way more to it than you may think you may help design the overall concept of a new vehicle but you might help design the windshields the suspension the frame of the car and raise other specific aspects of these vehicles in college you want to make sure you also get involved in automotive projects looking to join the Society of Automotive Engineers or SAE which your school might offer then you’ll be updated on competitions you can participate in look up the Formula SAE which is a student competition amongst college students or they aim to design a formula style race car like the one you see here based on certain rules such as which engine you might have to use then your scored by a variety of factors like costs of manufacturing acceleration fuel economy endurance etc there’s also an electric vehicle competition done by this organization you’ll work with a team get hands-on experience and you have a great thing to put on your resume so I hope this gave you a general summary of what automotive engineering is and what you can expect in the field if you liked the video don’t forget to comment like and subscribe and I’ll see you all next time you [Music]


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