DAVG: What is your background?
Nicholas: As someone with a strong interest in the automotive industry, I went from Ottawa to Windsor a few years back to study mechanical engineering and to be around the heart the industry in North America.
In 2016 I noticed how a lot of self driving car software was being open-sourced and started learning more about programming and machine learning.
Udacity has been a helpful source for learning such topics. Currently, I am doing mold design in Windsor. I have so much more to learn!
DAVG: How long is your commute?
Nicholas: By bus it takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to get from my house across the border through the tunnel bus and then two buses in Detroit to i3. Thankfully, people in the group have been kind enough to give me lifts to and from downtown Detroit to the meetup, which shortens the time.
DAVG: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Nicholas: I see myself working in the automotive industry. Whether it is in anything from battery thermal management or working on vehicle dynamics for autonomous cars, I would want to, as Elon Musk put it, “do projects that are inspiring and that make people excited about the future” and “get up in the morning and say, ‘yes, I’m looking forward to that thing happening’.
DAVG: How does the group benefit you?
Nicholas: I had started working on my project to build an autonomous RC car last year but that fell stagnant for many months. I decided to commute for the group to connect with others working on similar projects, share ideas and reignite the inspiration that led me to start the project in the first place. The group benefits me for exactly these reasons.
DAVG: What would you like the group to add or change or have more of? Any recommendations?
Nicholas: I think the group might want to reach out to youth, even in high school, as they will be the ones involved in these groups in the future. Also I think the group could hold competitions at different levels of complexity and keep the barrier of entry low enough for anyone keen enough to get involved.
DAVG: Where do you see the group in 5 years?
Nicholas: In 5 years, I see the group holdings regular competitions, where the goal is not just to win, but for everyone to learn. I think this is important to drive innovation and keeps it exciting.
DAVG: What brought you to the group?
Nicholas: It was my interest in self-driving cars that brought me of course! I had this unfinished project and I needed some help from the community to make it happen, and to enjoy it.
DAVG: How did you hear about us?
Nicholas: I think I googled for self-driving car meet-ups in the area or something like that. Then, much to my excitement, I found the DAVG page on meetup.com.