Google self-driving car research head Chris Urmson quits, says not happy with project’s direction

By: |
August 6, 2016 2:12 PM

Urmson said he has left Google's project as the company has moved the project from research into creation of products

Roboticist Chris Urmson said in a blog post that after leading the autonomous car team and helping make the leap from research to development, he is "ready for a fresh challenge." (Reuters)Roboticist Chris Urmson said in a blog post that after leading the autonomous car team and helping make the leap from research to development, he is “ready for a fresh challenge.” (Reuters)

Chief technical officer of Google’s self-driving car has, Chrish Urmson, has resign, saying he wants to take upo ne challenges, Urmson said he has left Google’s project as the company has moved the project from research into creation of products, according to Bloomberg. Urmson joined Google’s self-driving car project in 2009 and since then he has been an integal part of it. While initially the project was launched for reasearching the possibility of driver-less cars. However, Google signalled a change in its strategy last year in a bid to convert the research project into a viable business For this, Google also hired John Krafcik, an auto industry executive, to heald the project in 2015.

While leaving the project, Urmson said that the project is in “capable hands” and that people are asociated with the project because they believe it will make roads safer in future. Urmson’s departure was earlier reported by The New York Times. The daily said that Urmson was not happy with the current “direction” of the project, and he had even discussed about with Larry Page, co-founder, Google.

According to AFP, Urmson had previously been a research scientist on a Carnegie Mellon University self-driving car team that fielded a contender in a competition by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an arm of the US military focused on new technology. US media reported that Urmson may have been unhappy with the project’s trajectory since a car industry executive was hired last year to turn it into its own company at Google parent Alphabet.

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