Google’s self-driving cars may be self-built after all

New job listings for Google X Labs’ self-driving car project suggest the company might be getting in on production, despite previously stating it had no desire to become a car manufacturer.

The job listings include a manufacturing process engineer, manufacturing supplier quality engineer and mechanical global supply chain manager. The descriptions for the positions explain the roles will focus on, among other things, developing assembly lines, as well as manufacturing, execution and inspection processes.

These listings follow last year’s hire of ex-Ford and Hyundai general manager John Krafcik. His hire along with the jobs descriptions suggest Google might be interested in setting up a self-driving car manufacturing facility for mass production of its own vehicles.

A contradiction

Of course, the company said late last year it wasn’t planning on getting into the business of becoming a car maker, and would instead look to partner with an established automaker that would produce its autonomous vehicles.

So while it could be getting ready to start producing its own cars, it could also be that Google plans on designing and establishing a quick and cheap manufacturing process for mass producing the tech that powers its cars. Partner companies could then leverage the tech and processes to manufacture self-driving cars at their own facilities.

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Of course, this is all conjecture at this point, and with regulations for self-driving cars still being developed across the US, Google isn’t likely to reveal its plans until it’s ready to do so.

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