Google parent company Alphabet seems to be accelerating hiring for its car project. The company has posted a total of 36 jobs pertaining to manufacturing with special expertise in several areas relating to autonomous or self-driving cars.
Google seeks auto engineers
According to a report from Reuters (via VentureBeat), among the positions Alphabet is seeking to fill are several engineering positions, especially for experts in motion control, sensors, robotics, displays, and other technology that’s found in autonomous cars. The company is also seeking managers to oversee operations and marketing.
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Google has long been working on a self-driving car, and it has been testing its cars on roads in a handful of states. However, the company has apparently said in the past that it doesn’t intend to make cars itself, so speculations have been that it will partner with an already-established automaker and just supply the software for the autonomous car.
Google targets autonomous driving hardware
However, the lengthy list of positions the company seeks to fill suggest that its designs may go far beyond software. Google X might be looking toward supplying hardware or components in addition to software, which means it could pose a threat to companies like Mobileye, which makes sensors for vehicles.
One of Google’s job listings is for a manufacturing process engineer, and Alphabet states that the person who fills the position will design “factory assembly stations” and optimize production floor layouts. The person will also work to automate some of the key manufacturing processes and approve designs for fixtures that will be used to assemble “electronic modules for the self-driving car.”
The company is also seeking a manufacturing supplier quality engineer to approve the inspection processes for manufacturing, plus equipment, gauges, fixtures, and mechanical assemblies and components. Another listing is for a mechanical global supply chain manager, a position that will focus on executing manufacturing development.
Google in the race for autonomous cars
Parent company Alphabet is also seeking a real estate chief, which could mean that another facility is in order, and whenever there’s a new facility, usually there are lots of positions to be filled. This means we could see hiring for the autonomous car project increase even further.
Google is facing off with Apple (probably), Tesla Motors and others in the race to build a fully autonomous vehicle. Such vehicles are not yet legal on the roads yet, but regulators are starting to make laws regarding them. For example, a human driver is currently required to keep a hand on the steering wheel at all times, although recently it was ruled that Google’s artificial intelligence could be considered to be as good as a human driver.