Welcome to the second edition of the TuSimple Intern Spotlight series!
This series is meant to share stories of interns across TuSimple; about their background, their work, and ultimately, why they decided to join the TuSimple team following their internship. Today’s post is all about Omar, who started at TuSimple as an intern during the Summer of 2021 and subsequently joined us full-time in October of 2021.
Omar Alinur was an intern at TuSimple during Summer 2021 and is now a part of the Sensor Software Team which develops and evaluates different sensing systems. Prior to TuSimple, Omar earned his Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, Omar is based in Tucson, AZ.
A fun fact is that Omar was once slimed on Nickelodeon!
I’ve been extremely interested in autonomous vehicles since I was in high school. With TuSimple having some of the world’s most advanced self-driving technologies, working here seemed like a very natural and exciting opportunity for me.
I am a Sensor Software Engineer at TuSimple. Some of the things involved in this role include developing sensor drivers which let us run the sensors and process their data, and creating device management systems which allow us to track and control the firmware versions on our devices.
Having the opportunity to learn about all the different sensing systems as well as how they all interact was what I enjoyed the most. Needless to say, an autonomous truck has so many moving parts involved. To make all of its components work to produce a solid autonomous system seems like magic to an outsider. Getting to spend time demystifying some of that magic was an extremely unique, interesting and rewarding experience. Put simply, it was extremely exciting to work with such talented team members, cutting edge technology, and software systems.
Beyond my work, the culture at TuSimple was something that I really enjoyed. I appreciated how my team focused on comradery and connection by being thoughtful about team bonding activities. During my internship, my team and I went out for hot pot and drinks which was a really fun way for us all to connect outside of a work environment.
One of the biggest takeaways for me was how important it is to understand the scope and requirements for a project. Knowing exactly what you need to do and to what extent can take some time and effort but is critical for completing your tasks properly, especially when working on something as complex as autonomous driving. This is something that fresh college graduates may take for granted as many school assignments come up with clear instructions and guidance by nature.
One project I worked on was creating a device management system that checks and controls the firmware versions, connection statuses and process statuses of the sensors on the vehicles. This was used by safety engineers to make sure the sensors were in a good state before running the truck. Another project I worked on was a cloud-based firmware management system which is used for keeping the firmware versions on the different devices of each truck and helps engineers keep track of available and currently installed firmware on our sensors.
I spent my first few weeks at TuSimple getting up to speed with a variety of software tools and protocols. I learned a lot about how some of our software packages are managed, developed, deployed, and used. Although there was a lot to take in and learn right off the bat, my teammates did a great job of explaining things and pointing me to helpful resources!
Collaboration resonated the most within my team. The project I worked on involved dealing with a variety of different software packages. Having my teammates readily available to help me understand the nuances of each package played a big role in enabling me to complete my projects.
There were three main influencing factors encouraging me to come back to TuSimple. First was the fact that I had such a great experience working with my teammates. Second, I was eager for the opportunity to continue being in a cutting-edge environment where I was constantly learning new things. Finally, working full-time at TuSimple offers a great path for developing my skills, knowledge and career in the autonomous vehicle industry.
Interested in learning more about roles at TuSimple? Keep an eye out for our open roles across all of our teams by visiting our careers page. Join us in building a better path forward in trucking.