With Tesla unveiling its Master Plan 2.0 that includes a fleet of shared, driverless vehicles, Ford's announcement that it will mass produce fully-autonomous cars by 2021, and Uber's plan to use driverless cars in Pittsburgh by the end of August, there has never been more enthusiasm for the potential of self-driving cars. But, while Tesla's Autopilot and other driver assistance systems have come a long way in advancing the technology behind autonomous driving, there are still some big technical hurdles to overcome to get these vehicles ready for the public—and that's fantastic news for tech jobs.
If you're a software developer, engineer, roboticist, or designer, now has never been a better time to find work in an industry that promises to explode. Want some tips on where the jobs are? Take a look at 10 businesses, schools and research organizations that are looking to fill positions in their driverless car development.
Want to join the top dog in the world of self-driving technology? Tesla is looking for a quality assurance engineer—someone with a computer science, information systems, or electrical engineering background to work on the software for its 17" touchscreen in the Model S. Apply here.
With Ford's big announcement in August that they will have fully-autonomous, no steering wheel, brake pedal, or human driver required cars in 2017, they are on the hunt for engineers to help make it happen.
By the end of August, Uber will be offering Pittsburgh passengers a free ride in a self-driving car, with an Uber driver there to oversee the process. Are you a "problem solver with a high level of technical curiosity" who would like to work in Pittsburgh, PA as part of the research team? Now's the time to go for it.
SEE: Tesla's Autopilot: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
4. Toyota Research Institute (TRI)
Created in January 2016, TRI is a $1 billion investment in AI, with facilities in Cambridge, MA; Palo Alto, CA; and Ann Arbor, MI. They've got tons of postings for engineers. Are you an expert in designing "modulated lasers and RF high-speed electronics for innovative remote sensing applications in automotive and robotics applications"? Here's your chance to shine
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
After partnering with the Toyota Research Institute, this top tech university is looking for engineers for their Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.
6. Delphi Automotive
The technology created by Delphi Automotive made it possible for an Audi SQ5 to make it all the way across the country in the spring of 2015. Audi's A8 sedan is expected be its first production vehicle with autonomous driving technology, to be released on the market by 2019. And, they're looking for an "automated driving perception engineer" to join the team!
With more than 200,000 employees across the globe, Continental is one of the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. And now, they're looking for an algorithm development engineer to work on autonomous cars!
8. Southwest Research Institute
Based in San Antonio, TX, this research and design institution is looking for a software developer and researcher for work on "cooperative systems." Apply here!
9. General Motors
GM is looking for an Advanced Systems Engineer that gets "interfaces and interactions between in-vehicle systems [and] consumer inputs."
The "Google of China," whose driverless BMW 3-Series drove itself around the crowded streets of Beijing, wants a research scientist to join its so-called Autonomous Driving Unit. The team, according to the post, needs "to develop advanced autonomous driving technologies which will let us transform mobility and improve the lives of billions of people."
- How Tesla Autopilot drove a man with a blood clot to the hospital, and expanded the autonomous car debate (TechRepublic)
- Tesla driver dies in first fatality with Autopilot: What it means for the future of driverless cars (TechRepublic)
- Learn Tesla Model 3's key moves in autonomous driving, batteries, and charging (TechRepublic)
- Tesla's fatal Autopilot accident: Why the New York Times got it wrong(TechRepublic)
- Why the US government should take Tesla up on its offer to share Autopilot data (TechRepublic)
- Tesla speaks: How we will overcome the obstacles to driverless vehicles (TechRepublic)
- Ford plans to mass produce a 'no driver required' autonomous vehicle by 2021 (TechRepublic)
- Autonomous driving levels 0 to 5: Understanding the differences (TechRepublic)
Hope Reese has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Hope Reese is a journalist in Louisville, KY. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Playboy, Undark Magazine, VICE, Vox, and other publications.