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Chris Urmson announces his departure from Google self-driving car project

Pranjali Dhaskat
Pranjali Dhaskat
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Chris Urmson, Tech lead of Google’s self-driving car project, is going to leave the company after working for more than seven years. In a blog post on Medium Chris announced his departure from the company.

As per some sources, Urmson was dissatisfied with the recent direction of the project under John Krafcik, the CEO of Google’s car division. He served as the director of the company after Google X founder Sebastian Thrun left in 2013. Although he made the post says “ready for a fresh challenge,” The New York Times reports he had arguments with Alphabet CEO Larry Page regarding the recent direction from Krafcik.

“Seven-and-a-half years ago I joined what was then a secret project within Google. For decades, self-driving cars have been dreamt of in science fiction. The question was could we make that dream a reality?”

In 2009 Urmson started the self-driving project with Google, car team is now housed in X, the “moonshot” lab of parent company Alphabet. Autonomous driving tech has come a long way since the first time he arrived at Google, and it has entered a much more practical phase of development.

Urmson was working on self-driving tech at Carnegie Mellon to win DARPA challenges and watched the project go from a global of 100,000 miles self-driven to completing 1.8 million miles.

He said that

“Till I have not decided what to do next but if I can find another project that turns into an obsession and becomes something more, I will consider myself twice lucky.”


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