“What they teach at WMG is that more robust systems can be created using sensor fusion.”
Without sensors, autonomous vehicles cannot navigate safely. This is basic knowledge for an engineer like Braulio Solano, but what was ‘eye-opening’ for him was the power of these detection devices in combination.
It was only through his MSc in Smart, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles that he gained this specific understanding that employers prize.
“The camera on your windshield can’t ‘see’ through water if you’re on a highway and it’s raining,” explains the 28-year-old from Costa Rica who graduated in 2020.
“But if you combine this with additional sensors such as radar and lidar that use different technologies to perceive the environment, then you get the best of all worlds. What they teach at WMG is that more robust systems can be created by combining different sensors which is called ‘sensor-fusion’.”
Now at Jaguar Land Rover, Braulio has plenty of opportunity to apply the expertise he acquired at WMG. He is part of the Assisted and Automated Driving division where his time is focused enabling autonomous driving and preventing accidents. In which data collection from multiple automotive sensors is key to Braulio’s role.
There has been much hype – and mistrust – about the technology behind autonomous vehicles. For Braulio, enhancing safely is an aspect he is passionate about. WMG was the only university to offer a course that covered the ‘smart and connected’ part of the industry.
One course module was network connections for cars using 5G, and Braulio hopes to use the learning he gained in his future career. “There is huge potential from 5G in autonomous driving – the technology is fundamental to ensuring the cars are connected.”
Automotive engineering and development are not strong and established fields within the Costa Rican market and the opportunities are little to none. So, Braulio’s game plan is to stay in the UK and take advantage of the opportunities available. His Jaguar Land Rover interview was early in the morning due to time zone differences but that did not phase this WMG graduate who was determined to be hired. And for Jaguar Land Rover, his skills were exactly what they needed.
The outcome has proved a win-win situation for both.