With Google selecting Arizona to be the next state in which to test its self-driving cars, the tech giant has announced that it is looking for individuals with a clean driving record and a no criminal history to participate in a pretty exciting endeavor - an opportunity to work as "vehicle safety specialists."
In simple terms, Google is looking for people who could spend six to eight hours a day, five days a week in its autonomous vehicles, recording and observing several factors about the vehicle as it works its way around Arizona's streets. The data gathered by the specialists would be utilized by the firm's engineering team, who would then update and modify the vehicle's systems accordingly.
Brian Torcellini, head of operations for Google's Self-Driving Car testing program, described the nature of the job.
"Test drivers play an important role in developing our self-driving technology. They give our engineers feedback about how our cars are driving and interacting with others on the road, and can take control of the vehicle if needed," he said.
For their efforts, specialists would be compensated pretty well, with the rate for specialists being a pretty generous $20 an hour. Since most of the job requires sitting inside a top-of-the-line, high-tech vehicle, the job does look like a very attractive proposition.
Individuals applying for the position need to keep several things in mind, however. As much as the job simply involves a lot of sitting and observing, Google asserts that vehicle safety specialists must be masters at multitasking. After all, the job responsibilities include monitoring the vehicle's systems and providing a comprehensive written and oral report. Drivers must also be talented enough to manually take control of the autonomous vehicle if necessary.
"In general, they need to be excellent drivers who pay really close attention to the road and can predict the social aspects of driving. Local drivers will be great for testing in the Phoenix area because they know the roads and local driving norms better," Torcellini said.
At $20 an hour, it is expected that quite a number of interested applicants would be applying for the opened posts.