Skip to main content

Minds of Motional: Patricia King

February 01, 2023 Minds of Motional
Patricia in Seattle


Each month, we're highlighting the people who are using their talents and passions to help make driverless vehicles a reality.

Patricia King, a vehicle operator, shares what drives her to work at Motional as well as her passion for singing, cooking, and the tech industry. She also talks about what Black History Month means to her. 

What do you do at Motional? I am a Vehicle Operator (VO) for Research and Development

What inspired you to get into the AV/Tech industry? I came from Tesla, and always had my eye on Aptiv and what they were doing. I always enjoyed staying on the pulse of information that inspires me to learn more than what I currently do. Technology is like that; you have to keep up or you’ll get left behind.

As a VO, what are some of the most interesting scenarios you’ve encountered at Motional? Most of our scenarios involve interactions with the public. Without saying too much, Las Vegas is absolutely a place where you never know who is going to hop in the car and what they are going to do. I'm pretty sure our cameras could start a robotaxi confessional and give cable tv a run for their money.  

What motivates you day to day? I’ve always believed that autonomous vehicles are the future.  Just like Howard Hughes knew that planes were the future in his time. In the same regard, what we do every day is, “the wave of the future.” I sincerely believe that to be true about everything we do here at Motional. That keeps me motivated every day. 

What’s something about you that most people would be surprised to know? A) I lived in South Korea. B) My family is from Cuba. When my grandparents came to America, one of the firsts things my grandmother did was join the Civil Rights Movement. She was at Martin Luther King’s “ I Have a Dream Speech.” She was the family example of community service and care. 

Outside of work, what are some of your favorite hobbies? A) Sing Jazz with my big band and swing dance as much as possible. B) International travel. C) Cooking. D) Going to new restaurants with friends - where there’s a great wine list, please!

Patricia singing jazz


Who are some of your major influences at work? That’s tough because it has been a collective experience for me. So many people in my office have a wealth of knowledge in them and I’m just like a greedy goblin soaking it all in. But I will give it to every single one of my vehicle operator team members. I cannot do my job without a single one of them. We are in the trenches together sometimes making life or death decisions to keep ourselves and others safe. Driving these cars on the strip day in and day out is not easy. We protect the passengers and each other. They're my squad. I’m a better driver because of them. I’m a better person because of them. 

How would you define success? Having peace in your mind and in your life about who you are and what your purpose is. 

What TV shows are you currently binge watching? “Ramyun and Chill”, “Bridgerton”, “Outlander”, “Def Comedy Jam”, “KING-Eternal Monarch”, “Schitts Creek”, and ALWAYS… “I Love Lucy”.

What does Black History Month mean to you? It means I’m seen. Even if not in a “real” way, because people can choose to participate or not- something happened in history that says I, or someone who looks like me, mattered at one point or another; that their contribution to this country was important and acknowledged.

How does participating in an ERG at Motional influence work culture?  The ERGs at Motional give employees the opportunity to shine in talents that other roles don’t let you. It helps employees have purpose at work. It changes morale, and keeps everyone excited about how they have value while at work. 

You’re a passionate member of  BEAT (Black Employees Advancing Technology). Tell us what you're most proud of! I'm proud to serve as the Finance Chair for BEAT. I feel that I've found an opportunity for growth and I took ownership. But what I'm most proud of is the opportunity to share our vision and mission with new BEAT members through team movie nights, onsite pow-wows, or our community service. BEAT is active on-site and off-site. We try to help every site have the tools they need to grow as a team where they are and in their surrounding communities. I’m proud of that family dynamic we strive to keep.

If there was one thing you could tell your teenage self, what would it be? The friends you have now will change, so don’t worry so much about pleasing people. Your instincts are right.

What drives you to come to work at Motional? The vision that everyone can and will understand that accessibility to autonomous vehicles is possible. All over the world.

Patricia with Gen 1


Interested in working with us? Check out our open positions.