Indeed.com says self-driving vehicle job listings are way up and so is interest in them

At the top job site Indeed.com, a variety of companies are posting positions for engineering autonomous vehicles. Visitors click on these listings much more frequently than the other 16 million jobs that are posted on the site.

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Clicks for autonomous vehicle jobs on Indeed.com. (Image: Indeed)

A few years ago, autonomous vehicles were barely known outside of tech circles, but now even your grandmother is considering self-driving features for her next car. Dozens of companies are developing autonomous vehicles, and many additional businesses are hiring engineers to build the sensors, software, and other components that turn automobiles into robots. Economists at the top job site, Indeed.com, are keeping a close eye on autonomous vehicle listings because they've noticed that the industry is growing incredibly quickly.

Indeed shared some data with us, and we spoke with economist Daniel Culbertson for more insight. He is part of a team that analyzes Indeed's web metrics. Culbertson identified two major trends: a wide variety of companies are posting positions related to engineering self-driving vehicles, and website's visitors are showing an unusually high level of interest in these positions.

Rank Company
#1 Google
#2 GM
#3 Ford Motor Company
#4 Valeo
#5 Atieva
#6 Bosch
#7 BMW
#8 Daimler AG
#9 Workbridge Associates
#10 MBW - Mini

Self-driving vehicles are just starting to be tested on public streets in a few states, such as Pennsylvania and California. However, many industry stakeholders have suggested that robotic cars will be on the market sooner than you might think. Ford and BMW plan to offer self-driving vehicles by 2021, Toyota says 2020, and Volkswagen says they'll be selling autonomous vehicles in 2019. In the meantime, Tesla is already offering partially self-driving cars.

Self-driving cars, like any type of automation, will likely cause some job displacement. Robotic vehicles could make ride-sharing services so affordable and convenient that people will start to opt out of owning any vehicles, preferring a subscription model instead. Cab drivers and auto plant workers could lose their jobs, but entirely new job areas are being created. Engineers who specialize in robotics and software are already in high demand.

Nearly 100 different companies have job listings for autonomous vehicle positions on Indeed.com, and there is an interesting mix of traditional auto manufacturers and tech companies. The top five companies with the most self-driving vehicle jobs are: Google, GM, Ford Motor Company, Valeo (an automotive technology supplier), and Atieva (a Silicon Valley startup that just announced it will be renamed Lucid).

The data reveal that there was a sharp increase in the number of clicks on autonomous vehicle jobs in the third quarter of last year, and this upward trend continues today. Culbertson says, "I think it bodes well for the [autonomous vehicle] industry that the technology is getting investment from both the old vanguard and some of the new companies that are coming in, and then also some of the ancillary companies."

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