Welcome to Podcast #Ep50
Infrastructure for Autonomous Vehicles with Ruth Hoog Antink
About Ruth Hoog Antink
- Ruth is a Civil Engineer who graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil with Advanced Studies
- During her career she has worked with GHD in Brisbane, as a site engineer with Lend Lease in Sydney and she is now working as a Civil Engineer with Turnbull Engineering.
- Had no idea she wanted to be an engineer. “Everyone was like, I’m in a rush, I’m in a race to get somewhere …. where are you going?” Ruth didn’t know what she wanted to do, so she took a gap year after finishing school.
- Ruth’s first job as an engineer was in the Darling Harbour Live Precinct in Sydney, which is an incredibly complicated location and the work required challenged her construction and project management skills “I studied civil engineering, and you’re like, that’s nothing to do with what I studied”
- Since moving to Turnbull Engineering, has gotten into road engineering which is an area that had sparked her interest in engineering in the first place. “That would be where I got interested in all of the design work”
#19.30 Hot Topic discussion
“I am a bit of a fan of autonomous vehicles”
- Ruth is interested in the integration of autonomous vehicles (AV’s) with society’s infrastructure.
- An obvious benefit is the efficient use of time.
- Ruth suggests that AV’s would become more of a service than just a mode of transport.
- Australian Ministers are taking the eventual arrival of AV’s very seriously with a “national goal of having regulation in place by 2020 to support the commercial introduction of AV’s”
A few infrastructure changes that would occur:
- Intersections will be changed completely – only once there are all autonomous vehicles on the road.
- Pedestrian crossings would be re-thought “Even the pedestrian crossing, you don’t need to have them at the large intersections, they can be placed more strategically”
- Street signs can be rethought or even completely removed. “All the different signs that we have on the street won’t be required because it could be hardwired” into the AV
- Dom points out what could possibly be the biggest challenge – the transition from driven vehicles to automated.
“we need to stop thinking about how to adapt our current infrastructure directly to allow for the autonomous vehicle”
- We don’t need to ADAPT the current infrastructure … we need to realise that the infrastructure will need to CHANGE completely.
- Until AV’s are the only vehicles on the road “The main thing I think that will help the autonomous vehicles is actually the line marking”
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
- The benefit of taking a gap year
- Ruth studied in one specialist area of engineering, but her first job saw her working amongst a number of different engineering areas.
- Engineering in the future will be very similar to Autonomous Vehicles. “similar to autonomous vehicles, it will move to a more automated sort of way” … a lot of work will become automated. Ruth theorises that engineering roles at a lower level will be fairly scarce. Can see this change already in the way older generation of engineers perform their work, versus the newer generation of engineers.
“What I do, it’s a logical process. And because it’s a logical process, you can program a program to do that”
- Ruth’s advice for engineers just starting out: “I would tell them to learn as much software programming as possible…. because that will be how everything becomes automated.”
An engineering item for discussion… The Great Wall of China
“would have to be the most amazing piece of engineering I’ve seen in person” “I just can’t believe such an enormous wall could be built” “They’ve actually thought of things such as drainage”
An engineer to admire… Rowan Atkinson the actor… “he is also an engineer!”
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We interview engineers as they discuss their life and the issues they are dealing with.