Tesla Motors is getting serious about building self-driving cars. The electric automaker has posted a job opening for an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Controls Engineer that will help the company develop technology for fully autonomous vehicles. The listing says the engineer "will be responsible for developing vehicle-level decision-making and lateral and longitudinal control strategies for Tesla's effort to pioneer fully automated driving." Tesla wants this engineer to not only develop self-driving features for future electric cars, but also retrofit such systems to its Model S sedan.

Entering the race to build autonomous vehicles

As noted by Wired, which first reported the listing, Tesla has plenty of catching up to do when it comes to automation. The Model S lacks features that are commonplace in many other top-tier luxury vehicles such as adaptive cruise control, automated lane changing, and self-parking. Despite unanswered legal questions over the legality of self-driving cars, the tech and automotive industries are both pressing to bring this type of technology to market.

California, Florida, and Nevada are each allowing Google and manufacturers such as AudiGeneral MotorsMercedes-BenzNissan, and Volvo to test self-driving autos on their roadways — as long as a human being is in the car. And Google has said it expects its system to be ready in the next three to five years amid rumors that the company just might end up building a car itself. Tesla's known as an industry innovator — but considering how many companies are racing to make our cars drive themselves, it can't afford to take its foot off the pedal.