It is known that Google has spent a considerable amount of money to make sure its self-driving car project is a success. Now, the project has spun off into ‘Waymo’ which is a completely new entity. According to a report from Bloomberg, much of the money invested by Google to Waymo has gone to its engineers and staff members. Google made sure that their self-driving engineers are kept satisfied and happy with their pay. They do so because they are afraid that they might leave the company to start a similar work with different companies.
From the same report, Bloomberg said that the early staff members had a pretty unusual compensation system. Their salaries and bonuses were based on the self-driving project’s performance. Payments accumulated as soon as their milestones were reached even if Waymo was still years away from producing revenue. One of the staffers revealed that key employees had received a multiplier of sixteen which was applied to their bonuses and equity. The employees were happy and the huge compensation worked. However, it did not last. Eventually, the huge sum of money gave most of the staffers financial security which means they were even more willing to leave Google and its cuddly confines.
Bloomberg talked to two of the staffers that left Google. According to them, the accumulated cash has allowed both engineers to depart Google to work for other firms. Among those that left, Chris Urmson and Argo Al have seen a brighter future since they left Google. Chris Urmson co-founded a startup company together with an ex-Tesla employee. As for Argo Al, he received an investment that amounted to $1 billion from Ford just last week.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, experienced a mind-boggling loss that amounted to $3.5 billion from ‘other bets’ including the self-driving project in 2015. Just last year, the company lost more billions. However, the decision to turn the project into ‘Waymo’ is likely to result in better financials.
As of now, only one thing is certain and that is the fact that the autonomous car industry is ultra-competitive. Top dollar is being thrown at renowned and experienced engineers and not just by Google. Car and tech companies are in the game, trying to ‘set in stone’ their place in the industry. Still, Google is on top of the curve because it’s capable of allocating billions of dollars to the project. Google, as of this moment, is the best when it comes to the self-driving technology. However, this does not give the company assurance that it will be able to generate money from it down the road.