Waymo, the self-driving car subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. ($GOOG), recently announced that it would add up to 400 jobs in Michigan in order to mass produce its fleet of vehicles by mid-2019.
According to job-listing data from Waymo's website, the former Google project has already established a small team of Engineers in Motor City and its surroundings.
While Waymo hasn't added the promised hundreds of jobs just yet, it has hired at a steady clip in the state of Michigan since June 21, 2018. These jobs were mostly in Ann Arbor, a city about an hour west of Detroit.
During Waymo's factory announcement, it listed two jobs in Ann Arbor, both of which are for Software Engineers. The company describes its Michigan Software team as follows:
The Michigan Software Group takes on some of the most challenging problems within self-driving system development. We develop new algorithms, perform testing and experiments, and work with the rest of the Waymo team to extend the self-driving system. Our team is intentionally cross-functional, working on multiple aspects of the self-driving software.
It's safe to assume that the engineers already stationed out in Ann Arbor will be crucial resources to the hundreds of potential new employees Waymo will hire to build its fleet. As the race to the first mass-produced and commercially available self-driving vehicle enters its final laps between the largest automakers and tech companies in the world, it appears that Waymo is coming out in front of the pack with a team already on the ground.
And that's not just in Michigan; it's still hiring in droves out in its headquarters of Mountain View, as well as in Arizona.