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Dr.-Ing. Klaus Uhl

Dr.-Ing. Klaus Uhl

Dr.-Ing. Klaus Uhl, Senior Embedded Software Engineer, Automated Driving Group

Intel is all about designing and developing technology that has a real impact on how we live. Nowhere are the results of this felt more than in the field of autonomous cars. Driving is an integral part of modern life, and as cars become ever more sophisticated, Intel will continue to be there to develop new standards to lead the way forward. As part of Intel’s commitment to this emerging technology, we have made automated driving one of the cornerstones of the Virtuous Cycle that Intel’s future growth will rest upon. Our Transport Solutions Division and Automated Driving Group are offering a wide range of unique opportunities to become a part of advancing this exciting field of engineering and innovation. We recently spoke to some of the engineers working on the ground in Karlsruhe, Germany to provide a snapshot of what brought them to this project and what others could look forward to when they pursue a career with Intel. We’ll be presenting each of their takes on a unique aspect of what we mean when we say, “Amazing works here.”

I’ve been at Intel for about four and a half years. Before this, I worked for seven years at an IT Research Center on autonomous mobile robots. I worked extensively on making smarter autonomous navigation software that could pick up on the context of the surrounding area in order to make inferences about how to navigate – similar to humans. For example, if you walk into a living room or a kitchen, you know what kinds of things you will likely encounter there because you know the function of the room, which helps you find what you are looking for more easily. It was very interesting work.

I came to Intel because I heard about the major investment the company was making into getting into the automotive field, and I knew that the logical direction of that investment would be into creating automated cars. When given the option of going into Academia and becoming a professor or going into the private field, and either remaining in autonomous robotics or moving into the car industry, I really wanted to find someplace where I could apply my expertise to work on cars. Cars are such a big part of our lives, and I think the work I am doing with Intel has a good chance of making a big impact on the world.

I think that we are well on the way to creating the first automated cars as soon as 5 years from now, and we are moving toward a future where truly autonomous cars could be created in 15 to 20 years. I use two terms here because I would define an autonomous car as a vehicle that needs no manual input regardless of environmental conditions or level of infrastructure. Such a vehicle is something that may be as far as 20 years or more away. Automated cars, by contrast, are cars that can drive themselves under normal conditions on highways or, later, on well-maintained city streets, and they are definitely within our reach. We will see automated highway capable vehicles in as little as five years, meaning you will drive your car like normal out of the garage, get onto the highway, set your destination, then you can kick back to rest or perhaps start your work day. The car will alert you when you are approaching your destination and you’ll guide the car back onto city streets. This would already make a big impact on how we experience long commutes, as we could potentially return hours of our days back to us for whatever we wished to do with them. City capable automated vehicles will likely come sometime after. Perhaps in ten or so years. With more complicated automation such as cars that can handle hazardous weather or rural roads without clear markings at a much later time. It’s an exciting time to be part of this project, because we can see the standards for this new technology being formed every day.

In addition to being part of these exciting developments, working at a large, international company like Intel has given me access to new ideas and ways of thinking from all over the world, something that I couldn’t get at a smaller local company. It’s also given me the ability to explore the world without having to leave my career, as Intel has teams working on all kinds of cutting edge engineering in cities all over the world. Getting a transfer to another location to experience life in another culture is a very exciting prospect.

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