Job of the Day: Self-Driving Car Driver

Google—sorry, Alphabet—is paying $20 an hour for people to test-drive its autonomous vehicles.

Herbie Fully Loaded

I got a great tip from theSkimm this morning: Google is hiring self-driving car drivers, and they’re ready to pay $20 an hour.

From the official job listing:

We are looking for vehicle safety specialists to be a part of the Google self-driving car project; responsible for operating a vehicle for six to eight hours per day collecting data for our engineering team. Develop a unique set of operational skills using vehicles running proprietary software and hardware. Operate comfortably in a fast-paced environment, sometimes managing up to four communication channels simultaneously via various high- and low-tech mediums. Work on cutting-edge technology and provide engineers with detailed, accurate feedback.

The job listing doesn’t say how much the job pays—it does say that you need a “clean driving record” to not drive a car—but other sources have latched on to this $20 an hour number, including Yahoo:

The $20-an-hour salary may not seem like much in places like The Drive’s home base of New York City, or Google’s home in the San Francisco area, but for the greater Phoenix region, it’s a pretty solid wage.

And The Arizona Republic:

Mountain View, California-based Alphabet Inc., which owns Google, has begun accepting resumes for test drivers who would earn $20 per hour. The employees will gather data in autonomous Lexus sport-utility vehicles, navigating city streets throughout Arizona’s tech hub.

The Arizona Republic also interviews Brian Torcellini, head of the self-driving car testing program, who says that Google is ready to consider all kinds of applicants:

“We’ve hired people from all types of backgrounds, from English teachers to orbital welders. 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.”

Vanity Fair claims you have to live in the Chandler, Arizona area to take advantage of Google’s 12-to-24 month self-driving-car-driver contracts. I’m really curious if that means you’re an independent contractor, not an employee. The job listing reads “this is a position on the self-driving-cars team at Google” and doesn’t mention the 12–24 month contract, but it’s in several of the other articles, just like the $20/hr figure.

For all I’ve written lately about “robots are starting to take jobs that we thought only humans could do, like teacher and lawyer,” here’s a robot that’s creating jobs, at least temporarily.

Who wants to apply?