Nvidia vice president of autonomous driving software Sarah Tariq relishes facing the challenges the future holds.
Sarah Tariq likes a good challenge. Wanting to make a positive impact on the world, she grew up thinking she’d go into medicine but realized that she enjoyed the challenge of computer programming more once she got to college. “I’m very, very late compared to all of my peers that somehow were hacking or building servers when they were nine,” Tariq told us. It’s the endless possibilities brought forth by computer science that helped her find her passion working with software instead of synapses. With software engineering “everything that I’m doing has never been done before, and you can always reinvent what is possible with every line of code. And that was pretty exciting! Everything was like a little puzzle.”
fter cutting her teeth working on high-performance computer vision and early autonomous vehicle programs at Nvidia, Tariq did a stint at Zoox, where she worked on developing autonomous taxis capable of navigating San Francisco’s bustling cityscape.
Now she’s back at Nvidia as its VP of autonomous driving software, helping to solve the self-driving car puzzle while working hand in hand with automakers including Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, XPeng, Lucid, and others. We caught up with Tariq to discuss the software-defined vehicle, autonomy, and simulation, and here’s what she had to share.