How do you know what a company is planning to achieve a year or two down the road? Look at who they're hiring right now. It was that idea that led The Guardian to Google's recruitment website and spot that the search engine needs engineers for its self-driving car project. Not just any engineers, either, but ones with practical, real-world expertise in the sort of fields you'd need to mass-produce a vehicle. The firm has always denied that it'd make the vehicles itself and will instead partner with an established auto maker. But, the fact that it's now looking to get people with this sort of experience suggests that the day is coming.
For instance, the website pointed out that Google is looking for a Manufacturing Process Engineer. That's someone who is an expert at assembly-lines who would be capable of designing a factory floor that's perfect to build autonomous vehicles. The firm also needs people like noise-reduction specialists and mechanical engineers capable of taking elements of automobile design and making them Google-friendly. Given that the project is now being led by the former head of Hyundai of America, John Krafcik, we can imagine his desire to fill his team with people who know the industry from the inside.