Chris Urmson

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Chris Urmson is an engineer known for his work pioneering self-driving car technology.[1] He has previously worked with Alphabet on their self-driving car project and is CEO of the start-up company Aurora Innovation.[2]


Urmson was an assistant professor and researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.[3][4] The CMU team he was part of won the 2007 DARPA Urban Grand Challenge driverless car competition.[5] The challenge saw teams navigate a vehicle autonomously across a desert landscape and then a fabricated city.[6]


Urmson served as CTO on X, Google's self-driving car team, joining in 2009 and taking over from Sebastian Thrun as project lead in 2013.[3] He was main engineer who built the code running Google’s autonomous software.[7] Urmson left the company in 2016.[4]

Urmson founded Aurora Innovation with Sterling Anderson, the former director of Tesla Autopilot and Drew Bagnell, Uber's former autonomy and perception lead.[2][8] Aurora is a startup dedicated to driverless car software, data and hardware, though not the cars themselves.[9][7] With Aurora, Urmson aims to apply machine learning to the motion planning and perception components of autonomy simultaneously.[10]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Mui, Chunka. "Chris Urmson Reflects On Challenges, No-Win Scenarios And Timing Of Driverless Cars". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b Muoio, Danielle. "Tesla's former Autopilot head is launching a self-driving-car company — and it could have a big advantage". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b Kelly, Heather. "Google loses lead self-driving car engineer Chris Urmson". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b Waters, Richard. "Chris Urmson quits Google driverless car project". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  5. ^ Aupperlee, Aaron. "How Autonomous Vehicles Could Give Car Designs an Upgrade". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  6. ^ Urmson, Chris. "The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car: A New Chapter". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b Swisher, Kara; Bhuiyan, Johana. "Google's former car guru Chris Urmson is working on his own self-driving company". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  8. ^ Korosec, Kirsten (1 February 2018). "Open The Pod Bay Doors". Fortune (mailed print edition): 21. ISSN 0015-8259.
  9. ^ Edelstein, Stephen. "Mysterious Startup Aurora Innovation Granted Self-Driving-Car Test Permit in California". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  10. ^ Madrigal, Alexis C. (2018-03-29). "The Man With the Most Valuable Work Experience in the World". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-07-16.