Google Self-Driving Car Project's CTO Leaves Company

Google self-driving car prototype in AUSTIN, TX, for Paint the Town 5 photos
Photo: Google
Chris Urmson, former CTO for Google's Self-Driving Car ProjectGoogle's self-driving car prototypeGoogle's self-driving car prototypeBio for Chris Urmson, former CTO for Google's Self-Driving Car Project
Chris Urmson, one of Google’s robotics specialists and the CTO of the self-driving car project, has left the company.
Urmson was reportedly unhappy with the project’s leadership, according to the New York Times. While this information has not been confirmed, as it came from two former Google employees that prefer to remain unnamed.

The same sources claimed that Chris Urmson quarreled with Larry Page regarding the high-level hire and the new direction of the self-driving car project. All these details are focused on rumors that come from an unnamed source, which was not commented by Google representatives.

Concerning the change in leadership, Google recently hired John Krafcik, former chief executive and president of Hyundai America, to lead the Google car project. The hire of Krafcik was supposed to help bring the self-driving car division to a more commercial vision, which would help Google make money from the deal.

Chris Urmson joined the American company in 2009 to help create the project, which was started by Google to deal with matters like the autonomous car project.

He began his stint at the head of the Technology Department of the self-driving car project after Sebastian Thrun, the founder of the Google X laboratory, left the company in 2013. Thrun is a computer scientist educated at Stanford, and he was also the leader of the autonomous driving car team from Google before Urmson.

As The New York Times notes, a spokesperson for Alphabet, the company that operated Google X laboratory, has already confirmed that Mr. Urmson was planning to leave the corporation.

The company representative has described Chris Urmson as a “vital force” for the self-driving car project, and his work has propelled the team move from the research phase to a point where the technology is close to become a day-to-day reality.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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