The latest hiring spree appears to be focused on applicants with manufacturing expertise, according to Reuters. The company is hoping to fill at least three dozen positions including engineers that can help with designing “factory assembly stations … automating critical manufacturing processes and approving fixture designs used in the assembly of electronic modules for the self-driving car.”
Google co-founder Sergey Brin last year claimed “we’re really focused on working with partners,” including top-tier OEMs. The latest job listings do not contradict the comments, though the manufacturing focus appears to indicate that Google will maintain a much deeper role than merely writing software for self-driving vehicles.
The search giant is currently testing two prototype platforms including a fleet of heavily modified Lexus RX450h crossovers and a small two-seater, developed in-house, that previews the company’s initial vision for autonomous cars. The first production cars are expected to be offered as a car-sharing service, essentially providing a driverless alternative to Uber and Lyft.
Google has not publicly defined a launch schedule for its self-driving car, however the hiring spree suggests the company could be attempting to bring a product to market within the next few years.