Google Will Pay You $20 An Hour To Sit In Its Self-Driving Cars And Mostly Do Nothing


The revolution is coming. Robot drivers will soon replace humans. If you live in the Chandler, Arizona area and have a bachelor’s degree, you might just get to witness and be a part of history-in-the-making before A.I.’s take over the world and send us to our doom. Google will pay you good money to test its self-driving cars.

Several transportation companies all over the world are competing in this race, like Lyft and G.M., who plan on introducing self-driving electric taxis to the gravel by next year.

google car
image courtesy: Reuters

Apple made a recent $1 billion investment in Uber’s Chinese rival Didi to fashion its own autonomous vehicle. Google’s cars are already well on their way to be trial-tested in places like Austin, Kirkland, and Mountain View, California.

Google states that Arizona’s dry, hot, desert climate would be perfect as a testing ground for its autonomous vehicles.

self-driving cars google
image courtesy: AP Photo / Tony Avelar

Anybody living in this area and possessing a bachelor’s degree, a clean criminal record and ability to type 40 words per minute is eligible to apply for the job of a tester, or as Google terms it, “vehicle safety specialists”. Fancy. The job requires you to sit behind the wheel to make sure everything is a-okay. In case something does go wrong, the tester should be able to take over.

scared passengers
image courtesy: Everett Collection

Brian Torcellini, Google’s head of operations for the self-driving-car testing program says in an interview with The Arizona Republic,

“The role of test driver is so new that there isn’t a particular type of person that we look for. We’ve hired people from all types of backgrounds, from English teachers to orbital welders.”

Those who do get selected will be on contract for 12-24 months, driving cars for six to eight hours a day for $20/hour. In addition to making sure the cars don’t terrorize Arizona’s roads, drivers will need to provide short oral and written feedback to the engineering team at the end of each session.

self driving car inside
image courtesy: Carrie Campbell / Washington Post

Digital Trends reports that testers will supervise the cars in pairs. One specialist will get the wheel to take over if and when it is necessary, while the “passenger” specialist will submit live reports as the testing is tracked. Google requires human drivers in order to know how its cars handle various types of traffic.

In recent, related news: According to the latest monthly report by the project’s team, the self-driving car has been giving its AI lessons on when and how to honk.

google car on the road
image courtesy: Karl Mondon / TNS

To train the algorithm, Google put it through a variety of situations where a honk would be warranted. With the drivers and engineers working together, the AI was deemed ready and now has the ability to self-honk.

As written in the report,

“Our goal is to teach our cars to honk like a patient, seasoned driver. As we become more experienced honkers, we hope our cars will also be able to predict how other drivers respond to a beep in different situations.”

Google self driving car
image courtesy: flickr.com

Google also reveals that the car’s “hum” is sound-designed to forewarn pedestrians and cyclists on the road. It’s pretty genius. The sound can change its pitch when needed depending on whether the car speeds up or slows down. Interestingly, to create the hum, engineers tried everything from Orca sounds to ambient art sculptures. However, a signature sound has not emerged yet.

[sources: azcentral.com,googleusercontent.com]



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