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Now you can take a college class to learn how to drive self-driving trucks


An Arizona community college is offering an unusual new course that promises to train truck drivers for a job that doesn’t really exist yet.

Tucson, Arizona’s Pima Community College is currently offering a 12 credit course that will turn students into certified “Autonomous Vehicle Driver & Operations Specialists.” The course promises to teach students about the “basics of computer hardware components, fundamental electronics, safety, health and environmental regulations, domestic freight transportation, and illustrate an understanding of autonomous vehicles.”

The course was created in partnership with self-driving truck company TuSimple, also based in Tucson.

According to the course description, the five required classes will prepare students for a career as “an autonomous commercial vehicle driver trainee, co-driver or operations specialist.”

The program requires that a student already possess a Class A CDL “as drivers will build on their trucking knowledge with each course.”

“It’s clear that the future of truck transportation will offer new employment opportunities for today’s drivers but it will require a set of new skills,” stated Lee Lambert, Chancellor, Pima Community College. “Working with TuSimple to develop this Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist certificate program ensures our students will build competencies in multiple areas – from logistics and information technology to automated industrial technology. These areas are being transformed by autonomy and drivers will need training in order to interact with autonomous trucks.”

Registration for the class begins in August 2019. The class will start in August 2019.


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