New Roles Across the Automotive Industry

New Roles Across the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is at a crossroads like it has never experienced before. The shift tower electric vehicles are moving fast, with several countries requiring a phase-out of fossil fuel-powered vehicles at various points over the next decade. Cars are becoming more technologically advanced, with competing developments in autonomous vehicles. Automobiles, as consumers know them, will rapidly change over the next few years.

The same can be said of working in the automotive industry. Disruptions like this require new job roles, some that you never previously associated with the automotive sector. Traditional automotive engineers are now making room in the office for software developers, artificial intelligence experts, and more high-tech roles. Here’s a look at three new roles that are making an impact across the automotive industry.

Stellantis Is Prioritizing Software Development

Stellantis might not yet be a familiar name to some outside the automotive sector, but the multinational automaker is the descendent of several powerhouse companies. Stellantis was born in 2020 due to the merger between Fiat Chrysler Automotive and the French PSA Group. Among the 14 brands Stellantis owns are Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram. At the time of the merger, Stellantis had approximately 300,000 global employees and a sales presence in 130 countries and counting. 

In short, Stellantis is one of the world’s largest and most important automakers. That’s why it was surprising when, in March 2022, Stellantis made software development such a large part of its long-term strategic plan. Software and artificial intelligence are as crucial as Stellantis’ carbon-neutral initiatives and the switch to electric vehicles within that plan.

Stellantis announced a software strategy that calls for hiring “4,500 software people” by the end of 2024. So, what will that many software developers work on? Stellantis hasn’t said publicly, but it’s a safe bet to say it’s related to electric and autonomous vehicles. Both depend heavily on algorithms for smart features. Cybersecurity is also important, considering the dangers and privacy concerns associated with a hacked vehicle.

Hiring for Autonomous Vehicle Development, Led by Waymo

Waymo is another name that might not be familiar quite yet. You might know the company better by its former name—the Google Self-Driving Car Project. Since the name change, Waymo (like Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet) has emerged as a leading American autonomous vehicle technology company, with robo-taxi services available in several western US cities.

Those Waymo robo-taxis represented the first autonomous vehicle service available to the American public without a safety driver. If self-driving cars always seemed like a thing of the future, that future is here now. Investors think so; Waymo raised $5.5 billion across multiple rounds of outside funding. In addition, Research from McKinsey anticipates that the first Level 4 autonomous vehicles—driverless control under certain conditions—will hit the market in 2024 or 2025.

It should thus come as no surprise that Waymo is hiring for multiple roles in the autonomous vehicle sector. From software and hardware engineers to data scientists and generative AI researchers, Waymo alone is introducing several new roles to the automotive industry. If Waymo makes McKiney’s prediction about Level 4 autonomous vehicles come true, it’s a safe bet that the rest of the automotive industry will look to fill similar roles soon.

The Automotive Industry Adopts Generative AI

The technological advancements and the new job roles accompanying them have one thing in common. Generative AI is a hot technology in multiple industries right now, and its impact is being felt all across the automotive industry.

Generative AI is the form of artificial intelligence that powers ChatGPT and similar chatbots, like Microsoft’s Bing and Google Bard. The technology earned its name because it can generate human-like content and responses. The deep learning abilities of generative AI make it a natural fit for all sorts of uses, like predictive behavior models in Waymo’s autonomous vehicles. However, that’s only part of how the automotive industry uses it.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike of 2023 was resolved, in part, thanks to union auto workers getting their wish for a 32-hour work week. That four-day workweek is only possible thanks to advances in AI-powered robotics. AI has already made that much of an impact on auto production. But as the industry looks toward electric vehicle production, many are predicting a nearly automated assembly line.

You can only speculate what that means for today’s assembly line workers, but it surely means a bright future for generative AI developers, robotics engineers, and more tech-related automotive positions. A quick search of jobs on ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn shows that the industry is already preparing, with thousands of automotive robotics jobs available right now. Follow MRINetwork for more insights on the present and future of hiring across all industries.