• 08.05.16

Google Car development team leader Chris Urmson is leaving the company

Alphabet confirmed today that a seven-year veteran of its self-driving car initiative is leaving the company. CTO Chris Urmson wrote this in a Medium post about his departure today: 

Today will be my last day on the project as CTO. After leading our cars through the human equivalent of 150 years of driving and helping our project make the leap from pure research to developing a product that we hope someday anyone will be able to use, I am ready for a fresh challenge.

A New York Times account says Urmson disagreed with the direction of the car project in the wake of Google‘s hiring of  former Hyundai America CEO John Krafcik last year to lead the initiative. After publicly quarreling with Alphabet leadership last spring, Urmson took the summer off, then decided to depart. 

Urmson, who led the Google Car project since 2013, says he doesn’t know where he’ll work next. A string of Google Car engineers have left Alphabet to start their own automotive ventures.