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Autonomous Vehicle Safety and Test Drivers

Work Environment

Autonomous vehicle safety and test drivers spend a lot of time riding in vehicles. A typical driver for TuSimple (an autonomous driving technology company) might travel from Dallas to Houston and back—a nearly 500-mile journey—on a typical day. Drivers also spend time in offices and research facilities meeting with software engineers, technical project analysts, and managers to discuss their findings and go over the details of new assignments. Since vehicles need to be tested in all conditions, drivers work both day and night shifts and will test vehicles during snowstorms and rainstorms (although some of this work may be completed at test tracks). Most full-time drivers work 40 hours per week. Some companies offer compressed work schedules (such as four, 10-hour days).

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