New job listings posted on Google’s ‘careers’ page indicate that the company is pushing forward with plans to develop self-driving cars of the future.
The company posted thirty-six job openings with a strong focus on manufacturing experience.
Google is looking for engineers to work on a range of manufacturing related roles in robotics, sensors, motion controls, as well as managers to oversee manufacturing process flows for new products.
Is Google planning to build its own autonomous cars?
With no official word from Google about whether it will build its own cars the job listing only tell us that the company is increasing focus on hardware (how that will manifest itself is unsure).
The descriptions of some of the positions point to Google assembling its own manufacturing team, which would eliminate the need to rely on a partnership with an experienced automotive firm. However, the company has said in the past that it does not plan on building vehicles itself, but is interested in forming partnerships with established and experienced auto-makers.
The Guardian found one advert for a marketing-related position which revealed Alphabet’s intent on bringing “self-driving cars to market” and applying a “new brand identity” after the project “graduates” from its X division.
The listings also reveal that Google is expanding its ‘Manufacturing Process Engineering team’, which is responsible for ‘developing and/or approving manufacturing process flows, designing factory assembly stations, optimizing production floor layout, automating critical manufacturing processes and approving fixture designs used in the assembly of electronic modules for the self-driving car.’
For instance, there is a job listing for a ‘Manufacturing Process Engineer’ which requires the ability to ‘develop and/or approve manufacturing process flows (assembly + test) for new products,’ as well as ‘lead cross-functional technical manufacturing design reviews to obtain consensus for proposed manufacturing process flows, fixture designs and test processes before build events.’
Google tests prototype vehicles in Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas. The company said that it will be expanding testing to Kirkland, Washington later this month.
What’s certain is that the Self-Driving project will be leaving Alphabet’s ‘X’ subsidiary (a semi-secret research and development facility) and become its own independent entity; but when that will happen is not clear yet.