Google's self-driving car team is determined to move further the experimental stage and is now hiring more people with automotive industry expertise. The operation now employs at least 170 workers, many of whom are software and systems engineers.
More than 40 of the new employees have previous automotive industry experience with skills in various fields from exterior design to manufacturing. They come from a wide range of companies, including Tesla Motors Inc., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. Data about the workers hired by Google are cited from a Reuters review of their profiles on LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network.
Google has said previously that it intends to ready the technology for a marketable self-driving car by 2020, but it may never manufacture vehicles itself. The tech giant is more likely to contract out manufacturing or to license technology to existing car manufacturers. In the past four weeks, Google has advertised nearly 40 new positions on the team, and many are related to manufacturing. The team currently has six people with such experience, including purchasing, supplier development and supply chain management. Hires with manufacturing skills could help Google find and coordinate with a partner to build a vehicle.
The competition for technical talent is intensifying as tech and automotive companies race to build driverless vehicles. Beyond Google, the players include Tesla, established car makers such as Daimler AG and GM and, and technology companies such as Apple Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.