The Best Part…This Article is NOT About Autism


August, 2017


Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Engineering support intern Austin Peak sits in a test vehicle with the Velodyne lidar sensor mounted on the front of the car at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto in July.

In July the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article about the Bay area’s significant role in development of autonomous vehicles. Austin Peak, pictured above, was the engineering intern working on this project with the Research and Innovation team at Ford’s Palo Alto facility. Austin, a Lawrence Technological University senior, was placed by the Autism Alliance of Michigan this past spring. The Autism Alliance of Michigan, is the point of contact for the FordWorks diversity hiring initiative for any pledged positions within the United States.

While Austin had some initial training and support from AAoM’s employment team, he passed the same requirements that other engineering interns do through the onboarding process. The team in Palo Alto recognized the benefits of working with those who see things from a unique perspective and raised their hands to be included in the initiative, bringing Austin’s creative talents together with those at the heart of automotive innovation.


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