Today (May 13th) was our final company tour at Grob. By this point, most of us were tired after many days packed with visits, but our guide was very passionate about the information he was sharing, and he was very funny. He kept cracking jokes and sharing funny parts of his career throughout the tour. This made our last day extremely enjoyable while still being able to learn a lot about the company.
Grob is a manufacturing company that makes machines, that make machines… even Grob machines make Grob machines. In simpler terms, they make machines that are used by other companies to make their products. They sell machines to various big-name automobile companies like Tesla. I think this company had one of the best factory tours. As an engineering student, I never thought deeply about the supply chain, but I was amazed that there are companies that make machines for other companies. I forgot how far back the supply chain goes.
Afterward, we went back to the University and had a talk with VDE and a former BMW employee. I found the BMW talk the most interesting because he was able to share more information since he was not working for the company anymore. One subject he mentioned was the 5 levels of autonomous vehicles, 5 being fully autonomous in any environment. I found it interesting because I think the public believes current vehicles on the market are more autonomous than they truly are. For example, Tesla advertises their car with an auto-pilot mode. I remember seeing videos of people sitting in the back of their car reading a book while letting the car drive itself. This implies the car is fully self-driving, but in reality, Tesla is only at level 2 of autonomous driving and the car cannot rely on itself. Almost all autonomous cars on the market are only at level 2. This means the vehicle can control most functions like steering and acceleration, but the driver must monitor the environment and be able to take control at any time. I thought this was interesting because I also believed that the cars were fully self-driving, but in reality, they are not.
Finally, we finished off our evening by coordinating a group dinner at an Italian restaurant. The past few times we ate Italian I had pizza, so I had to change it up and order pasta. It was delicious!