Momentum - February 2021 - 19

Today's Engineering
help us really integrate the customer experience, "
Morris said. " We've pulled ahead two major
programs because we are doing things virtually
more effectively than we ever have. A lot of those
jobs are coming in as software engineers and
product, but they will touch enterprise wide and
they are all towards the EV push. "
Being able to work remotely also is expected
to help GM fill the positions in what's already a
tough hiring market for software engineers.
Said Morris: " All of us, me included, have been
working remotely since March 13th, and we've
been really, really effective at doing that. Which
opens up the hiring possibilities. They can hire in
and live in Florida or California....We can get the
absolute best people and if they want to live
where they currently live, they can do that. "

GM has committed to an aggressive EV product
timeline, which it unveiled with its new GMC
Hummer EV. With software playing a crucial role
in electrified products, the hiring announcement
points to a strategic shift in engineering resource
" We're front-loading so much of the
development in the timeline where we are doing
so much analysis and being able to deliver
vehicles. The first vehicles that we build are more
or less like production vehicles, " Morris claimed,
noting that the resulting amount of physical
testing required for verification is greatly
This timeline shift has only accelerated
" It's amazing what we're able to do today
versus even five years ago, so for sure the new
jobs that we're talking about here are helping not
only with the vehicles that you've already seen, "
Morris added, referencing the GMC Hummer and
Cadillac Lyriq EVs. " We're already well on the
way on those, but we really want to advance the
entire EV portfolio. And that's where we need
the extra horsepower, for lack of a better word,
of having 3,000 additional software engineers. "
The additional headcount, Morris stated, is not
just about sticking to the aggressive productrelease cadence, but to hopefully advance it.
" It's both, " he said. " I think we need to have
that talent and capability just in terms of capacity
to be able to deliver the portfolio that we want
to. But it's also an added benefit to the company
that we've figured out how to do this very
quickly, and that's just going to help us move
faster. "


General Motors


GM software automation engineer Daniel Heintzel works with a telematics robot.

The latest recruitment of software-focused talent is part of the industry's
inexorable shift from mechanical to digital systems. In-house abilities are
likely to help determine competitiveness as the market moves to a greater
percentage of electrified and autonomous models.
" We started the transition in the tail end of 2018 in terms of what type of
engineers that we have working on what, because we're accelerating towards
our EV future, " Morris explained. " We're also accelerating towards our
infotainment systems and the vehicles are becoming more and more
software-driven just because that's what customers want and enjoy. "
This is a seismic shift in engineering capital, and Morris noted it's about
looking forward in terms of expertise.
" At some point you've got to transition to people that have those skill
sets, " he said. " For the most part, EVs require similar skill sets to internalcombustion-engine [ICE] vehicles. We can transfer people directly across
working on transmissions into working on drive units. But for software
engineering, that's a tougher skill set to be able to transfer to. We're
adjusting to the needs and the capacity of requirements that we have. "
Staying ahead of the market's EV adoption curve will be key.
" My personal opinion is that we're going to see a real inflection point in
the middle of the decade where customer adoption is going to increase
rapidly. We want to be on the leading edge of that in terms of real massmarket, mass-production electric vehicles, " Morris said. " What we're gaining
in terms of the technical execution of these vehicles and the fact that we
believe we can execute EVs faster than we've ever executed [ICE] vehicles...
we're anticipating [this] inflection point. If we miss that opportunity, it's
tough to catch up. "
For those interested in available positions, GM is encouraging the use of
itsĀ online careers portal. n
By Paul Seredynski, senior editor, SAE's Automotive Engineering magazine.

February 2021 19

Momentum - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2021

Momentum - February 2021 - Cover1
Momentum - February 2021 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2021 - 1
Momentum - February 2021 - 2
Momentum - February 2021 - 3
Momentum - February 2021 - 4
Momentum - February 2021 - 5
Momentum - February 2021 - 6
Momentum - February 2021 - 7
Momentum - February 2021 - 8
Momentum - February 2021 - 9
Momentum - February 2021 - 10
Momentum - February 2021 - 11
Momentum - February 2021 - 12
Momentum - February 2021 - 13
Momentum - February 2021 - 14
Momentum - February 2021 - 15
Momentum - February 2021 - 16
Momentum - February 2021 - 17
Momentum - February 2021 - 18
Momentum - February 2021 - 19
Momentum - February 2021 - 20
Momentum - February 2021 - 21
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Momentum - February 2021 - 24
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