Self-driving cars mean new tech, but they also mean new-age vehicle technicians

As part of a new 10-year strategic plan, Rosedale Technical College introduced a five-prong initiative on Wednesday to proactively adapt its curriculum to match industry needs — in the autonomous car industry and beyond.

The nonprofit located in Kennedy Township will begin offering a certification program for autonomous vehicle technicians.

“Autonomous vehicles, they’re here. And not just the test vehicles, but the semi-autonomous features in the cars you’re driving today, self-braking, self-parking,” said Dennis Wilke, president and director.

In about a year, he estimates, the school should have a state-of-the-art autonomous vehicles lab. Rosedale is partnering with national firms like Snap-on, a tools designer and manufacturer based in Kenosha, Wis., to determine what the space should look like. The firms will also provide equipment.

Rosedale isn’t the only school that offers programs for highly automated vehicle specialists.

Community College of Allegheny County offers a two-year automotive technology program at its campus in Oakdale to teach students to service and repair high-tech vehicles.