Google’s self-driving cars are just prototypes right now, but speculations are already in swing about the interior of these robo-cars. Judging by a recent job posting, it appears that the search giant is already working on designing the seats, interior moldings, and even the lighting inside the car.
Designing never been Google’s forte
Google is looking for an “Automotive Interiors Engineering Lead” who can weigh in on industrial design concepts and design all the car’s “interior systems.” The most important skills and qualifications are product development experience covering instrument panels, hard moldings, soft moldings, seating and interior lighting. The candidate must have experience on working on these from program concept through product launch within the transportation industry.
“You will be working with Industrial Design and the engineering teams to establish interior themes and define design criteria for vehicle interior systems,” the posting says.
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Design has never been Google’s talent for any kind of product. When it comes to cars, there are various companies with more than a century of experience and knowledge about consumer preferences. The technology and aesthetics will need to be the best if self-driving cars are to catch the eyes of consumers and catch on with all the alternatives in the market.
A changed approach from Google
Google’s job posting provides an important hint about its vision for self-driving cars, which are currently being developed within Google X. The search giant has suggested again and again that it is not interested in manufacturing a self-driving car on its own but that it will likely partner with an automaker to produce the robo-cars. The recent job listings speak a different thing though.
Google is certainly not content with simply focusing on behind-the-scenes technology that powers the vehicle. The search giant wants to take a frontline approach to the car’s look and feel, both in terms of the exterior design and on the inside. Google’s robo-cars may not feature steering wheels, accelerator pedals, or other traditional car features; therefore, it becomes important for the search giant to work hard in designing the car.
Whether Google’s involvement in the manufacturing of the self-driving car will prove to be an asset or a liability for it remains to be seen.