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Google's self-driving car project is on a hiring spree

Google appears to be ramping up its autonomous vehicle program by posting a series of job openings.
A self-driving car traverses a parking lot at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California on January 8, 2015. NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images

Google is on a hiring spree – only not all of its openings are for programmers or web designers. The internet giant is ramping up its self-driving car project, listing 36 jobs under its Google X project. Among them are positions in manufacturing and engineering related to developing systems including motion control, robotics, and sensors.

The listings include a variety of roles, including mechanical, automotive NVH, vehicle safety, and reliability engineers. There are other positions for marketing, policy analysis, and even real estate and workplace services related to the project. The hiring spree suggests that Google is ramping up its self-driving car program.

"The self-driving car project aims to improve people's lives by transforming mobility and making it easier and safer for everyone to get around, regardless of their ability to drive," reads the introduction to many of the job listings. "So far, we've self-driven over one million miles and are currently out on the streets of Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas."

Google has been one of several companies at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development. The big question remains whether it will go it alone in developing, manufacturing, and distributing its self-driving cars, or partner with an existing major automaker in bringing its technologies to the street. The company has been rumored to team up with Ford, but an expected announcement at CES focused instead on Dearborn's partnership with Amazon. Meanwhile, General Motors has invested heavily in rival transport tech startups Lyft and Sidecar as the automotive giant seeks to transform itself into an on-demand mobility company.

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