Google’s self-driving car closer to launch than ever before

Google Car

Google has always been rather secretive about its self-driving car project. But a bunch of new job listings on its website has revealed a rough road map on how it plans to proceed. The initiative has even gotten the approval of the US government thanks to a new ruling which qualifies computers as drivers.

The Google X car project requires 36 people for various positions such as engineers who will focus on robotics, displays, motion control and sensors. For instance, a manufacturing process engineer listing asserts the job will need people who can approve designs of electronic modules in the self-driving car and automate manufacturing procedures.

Other than these technical skills-focused listings, Google is also looking for individuals who can market the car successfully to communities, governments and ‘influencers.’ It must be pretty far ahead in its enterprise if it’s already hunting for people to promote the automobile. The program’s president John Krafcik had earlier stated that he was looking to form partnerships with manufacturers in 2016 to accelerate the work.

Google  Self Driving Car

As per Reuters (via VentureBeat), positions are likely going to increase in the future with Google even seeking out people for real estate. The brand is planning to expand its evaluations to Washington later this month. The prototype cars are a common sight on the streets of the company’s home base of Austin and Mountain View.

Google claims these automobiles have collectively driven 1 million miles since the project’s inception. The vehicles have always had a safety driver on-board so far. This could change in the future, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating that the Self-Driving System controlling the actions of the car can be considered the driver.

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This is a huge step forward for Google and other companies such as Apple. The NHTSA’s rulebook in its current form, conforms to the idea that all automobiles need a steering wheel and pedals, operated by a human in the driver’s seat. Google’s prototypes don’t fulfill any of those requirements, according to Reuters (via The Verge).

Now that it’s overcome this hurdle, Google will now have to try to convince the NHTSA that its self-driving cars can meet the standards which have been developed and designed for vehicles with a human driver.