The Guardian spotted a slew of new job listings for Google’s self-driving car project, ranging from a marketing manager to manufacturing process engineers. In all, the company has advertised 36 jobs in the autonomous car division – though none of them are for (non-) drivers …
While some of the posts relate to manufacturing, there’s no reason to think the company has changed its position on partnering with existing car manufacturers for commercial roll-out. Former GM plant manager Mark Stevens notes in the piece that the manufacturing and procurement posts relate to plastics, polymers and composite materials that are more typically used in prototype vehicles than in volume production.
Recent pointers have suggested that Google may initially be targeting taxi operations, one recent academic paper cited estimating that self-driving vehicles could offer Uber-style services at less than half current rates.
For once, it appears that the government may be aiming to keep up with technology, Obama’s administration recently proposing a $4B spend to tackle the legal barriers to the rapid rollout of self-driving cars. Other countries also want in on the action, UK transport chiefs said to be in “active discussions” with Google about beginning tests on London’s roads.