Delphi adds 100 self-driving cars jobs in Pittsburgh

More jobs mean more cars and more space, too.

Delphi BMW Self-driving Prototype
John F. Martin / Delphi Automotive
MJ Slaby

Delphi is hiring 100 more employees as the self-driving car company makes Pittsburgh its “automated driving headquarters.”

Roughly 50 to 60 people already work for Delphi in Pittsburgh, and the goal is about 150 by the middle of next year, Glen De Vos, Delphi’s chief technology officer, told The Incline today.

Plus, the company plans to add to its fleet, to have about 40 or 50 cars by the end of the year. Currently, Delphi has self-driving Audi SUVs and BMWs and will add Chrysler Pacificas, too.

With all the new people and new autonomous vehicles, Delphi also plans to move to a new office in 2019 from its current space in RIDC Industrial Park in O’Hara Township. De Vos said he couldn’t say where it will be just yet, but said it’s closer to the city. It’s a better location for access to transportation and for employees too, he said.

The company will also have a vehicle assembly center a little farther out. De Vos said all the self-driving Delphi vehicles on the roads now are designed and built in Pittsburgh.

De Vos credited the need for more hires to growing partnerships for Delphi and a need to expand capacity.

Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement to The Incline that the Delphi additions were “great news” and “further validation of Pittsburgh’s global leadership in autonomous vehicle technology. As the industry grows, job growth is following, too.”

As far as the types of jobs, the hires will be for highly-skilled workers in multiple areas of engineering, as well as vehicle technology to build the cars. The plan is to work with multiple universities and bring in experienced people, but also have a heavy focus on recruiting from Carnegie Mellon University, De Vos said.

“Whenever possible, we like to hire local,” he said.

Delphi has a long relationship with CMU and in 2015, acquired a university spinoff called Ottomatika, which does software and systems development for self-driving vehicles and was led by CMU Professor Raj Rajkumar, an expert in autonomous vehicles.

Expect to hear more about Ottomatika and Delphi.

De Vos said the company wants to strengthen the Ottomatika brand and keep its startup culture within the much larger Delphi organization.

“We’re reaching a phase with our automated driving business [that] we feel we have meaningful things to talk about,” De Vos said. So the company is turning its focus to deploying the technology commercially and has plans for a self-driving car with no person in the front seat in 2020,

And yes, you might start to see logos on the Delphi cars driving around Pittsburgh. De Vos said it’s in discussion. Currently, the company doesn’t have logos on its test vehicles and without cameras and sensors on top, it’s more difficult to spot one than a self-driving Uber.

Watch this promotional video of a (marked) Delphi self driving car throughout the city: