The mass production of Google’s self-drive or autonomous car appears to be a step closer, with the technology giant recently advertising for personnel to work on various aspects of the vehicle’s development.
To date, commentators have largely focused on what the job adverts suggest about the company’s strategy for bringing the car to market. The development is equally fascinating from the recruiter’s standpoint, however, since the roles offer a rare opportunity to work on a project that has the genuine capacity to change the world.
A lucky (and immensely talented) advertising guru will be tasked with one of the key challenges of bringing the so-called “driverless” cars to market, namely the creation of an entirely new brand identity once they have emerged from the highly secretive Google X development division.
A proven track record in large-scale, high-profile product launches is mandatory. And whoever takes up the brief must have the formidable skill set necessary to help gain the goodwill and co-operation of communities, “opinion formers” and, critically, governments. The latter, of course, will need convincing on numerous matters, not least of which is safety, before they will legislate to allow the cars on public roads.
Google is also hiring technical experts. For example, an operations manager will required to work on the construction of automated assembly lines and to manage the relationship with various manufacturing partners. Likewise, a manufacturing process engineer will face the exacting test of designing factory assembly stations.
In addition, the successful candidate will work on both the development of automated manufacturing processes and fixture designs for the assembly of the electronic modules that will be a major component of this exciting new generation of motor vehicles. A materials programme manager will be responsible for all aspects of the global supply chain and will need to manage projects in multiple geographies.
Interestingly, a number of the jobs being advertised require that candidates demonstrate that they have experience of working in Asia. Observers have argued that this points to Google intending to outsource and offshore various aspects of the project, probably in the interests of economy. Certainly, labour in the Far East is usually dramatically less expensive than in western economies and there is a huge talent pool in the technical and manufacturing disciplines in these jurisdictions.
We are clearly still several years away from seeing autonomous cars on our roads but Google’s ambitious hiring programme offers a wonderful opportunity for some fortunate and talented individuals to work on one of the most exciting projects of the early part of this century. Recruiters will be watching this story closely in the coming months and years.
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