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James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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Google Offering $20 Per Hour to Ride in Self-Driving Cars

For all you philosophy majors out there looking for gainful employment, Google may be just the thing for you.

Google is on the lookout for people in Mountain View, California, holding a Bachelor’s degree to sit in the driver’s seat of its self-driving cars. The “Vehicle-Safety Specialist” would sit behind the wheel of the car for six to eight hours per day while the car drives itself, just as a precaution in case of emergency. The position pays $20 per hour.

Another person would sit alongside the driver-passenger and take notes for the engineering team about the car’s operations. Prospective candidates must be able to type 40 wpm and have clean driving and criminal records, and must pass in-car and out-of-car training.

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Google’s ad on HireArt also mentions that prospective candidates should “operate comfortably in a fast-paced environment, sometimes managing up to four communication channels simultaneously via various high- and low-tech mediums.”

While Google focuses on self-driving passenger cars, the New York Times reported on Tuesday that another company, Otto, is focusing instead on self-driving big-rig trucks, banking that a commercial focus could be more financially viable since a single laser senor used on a Google car costs near $75,000.

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Self-driving big rigs may also be more attractive to regulators who are concerned with the disproportionate number of big-rig-caused highway fatalities (9.5% of all highway fatalities, according to the Department of Transportation) when big rigs account for only 5.6 percent of the total miles driven each year on highways.

Otto, based in San Francisco, is, probably not coincidentally, made up in part by 15 former Google engineers, including major players from Google’s self-driving car division.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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