Google's self-driving car team is now at 170 employees -- and hiring

The Alphabet-owned company is expanding its autos team for a launch by 2020.

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Google is beefing up its self-driving car team, as the new technology looks to take the roads of the US by storm over the next decade. Google has previously confirmed plans to sell a mass-market self-driving car by 2020.

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Google now has 170 employees in its self-driving car division, according to data compiled by Reuters, many of whom are software and systems engineers. Of those employees, 40 have previous experience in the auto industry.

Wanting to expand the team, Google is looking to fill 40 new positions, some of which are in manufacturing and politics.

For example, the company is looking for a policy analyst to "handle our various product agendas with policy makers inside and outside government".

Google's role of process engineer is described as "designing factory assembly stations, optimizing production floor layout, automating critical manufacturing processes and approving fixture designs used in the assembly of electronic modules for the self-driving car."

Google isn't expected to manufacture the cars, but to contract out the process while it focuses on hardware and software.

Google has been testing its self-driving cars on the public roadways and working with state governments on passing legislation in favor of the new tech. The vehicles have driven over 1.3 million miles autonomously in California, Texas, and Washington.

The Alphabet-owned company won't be alone in trying to take the self-driving car market. Auto giants Ford, General Motors, and Tesla have already confirmed plans to test the technology.

"This [has the potential to] dramatically reduce the number of cars on the street, 80 percent of which have people driving alone in them, and also a household's cost of transportation, which is 18 percent of their income -- around $9,000 a year -- for an asset that they use only 5 percent of the time," Robin Chase, the founder and CEO of Buzzcar, told Investopedia.

By 2030, self-driving cars are expected to create $87 billion worth of opportunities for automakers and technology developers, according to analysis published by Lux Research.