Lauren Brown joined Ike in 2018 as a Software Operations Specialist.
Tell us about the path that led you to Ike. Why automated trucking and why Ike?
I first started working in automated vehicles about a year ago, focused on cars. A friend had been trying to hire me onto her team for a few years. I kept declining because I didn’t think I could make a switch like that. My background is in retail. I was the regional manager for a small business and spent most of my time traveling and training. I didn’t know anything about automated vehicles. I didn’t even understand what it was. Cars driving by themselves sounded dangerous and weird. But she said it was the coolest job getting to teach the cars what they see and building the neural net of the vehicle. So I decided to take the plunge. From there I learned so much about automated vehicles and data annotation.
During that time Ike came across my path and what I loved was that Ike was working on trucking and helping improve truckers’ livelihoods. They weren’t talking about taking things away from people. They were talking about helping people. That resonated with me. And I really like Ike’s values a lot.
What excites you the most about your job?
Getting to learn something new every single day. That’s the crème de la crème of my job. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t stop and think, “Wow. Mind blown.” Or “I didn’t know I could do that.”
I work with a lot of engineers and sometimes it seems like they’re speaking another language. But they always break it down for me so I’m constantly learning. I get the chance to apply the new concepts and things I learn in my work all the time.
What’s the most common question you get about automated trucking?
So you’re going to take jobs from people? No, it’s actually the opposite. We’re trying to develop technology that would allow truckers to have a better way of life. The current state of a trucking job is really hard. It’s long hours, few breaks. The quality of life on the road and health impacts make it a really tough job. We want to be a bridge and allow truckers to be home with their families and be compensated fairly for their work.
What would you be doing if you didn’t work at Ike?
I’d probably go back to school and study dance. Growing up, I wanted to be a dance movement therapist. I like trying to make an impact on others (hence why I like working at Ike). I always liked the arts as a healing modality for children and the elderly. I used to teach dance to kids who were deaf. They learn through vibration. So you have to have a hardwood floor and the music has to be loud enough. It was really fun.
You’ve lived in lots of places all over the world. Which place is your favorite?
Definitely Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s the most creative place I’ve ever been. I really learned that you should take your time to live your life and live it to the fullest. Argentinians enjoy life and don’t make work the only thing that they’re always prepping for; they just prep for life. It was a highly creative and super motivating place to be.
What’s your favorite Ike catchphrase?
Long term fast. To me it means: make decisions that have lasting impact. Don’t skim on the details.
Do you have a standout Ike memory?
Ike Beach Day this summer. I loved just seeing everyone come together. That was the day I realize we move and act like a true family.