Google Self-Driving Car Research Head Chris Urmson Leaves

Chris Urmson, chief technical officer of Google’s self-driving car efforts, said he’s leaving as the Internet company moves the project from research into the creation of products. “I am ready for a fresh challenge,” the former Carnegie Mellon University researcher said in an online post Friday. Urmson has been integral to Google’s automated-driving project since its early days in 2009. Under his watch, Google vehicles racked up 1.8 million miles of driving. He’s leaving as car manufacturers place more emphasis on the technology and race to be the first to field vehicles that don’t need human drivers. Google hired auto industry executive John Krafcik to take over the car project in 2015. The move signaled a new phase in which the company is trying to turn what was a research…


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