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Chris Urmson

Chris Urmson is the CEO of Aurora, the company he co-founded in 2017 to develop self-driving technology. Chris is an engineer and former faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned his PhD in Robotics and developed robotic vehicles. He then joined Google to spearhead their autonomous vehicle project which eventually spun off as Waymo. Chris left Google to co-found Aurora, which has partnered with leading transport firms including Uber, Toyota, FedEx and Volvo. In 2021, Aurora went public via Reinvent Technology Partners Y, the SPAC founded by Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus.

“One of the biggest challenges is that we’re trying to solve a grand problem. How do we break it into parts where people can have victories on this long journey?”

— Chris Urmson
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Featured in these episodes:
Chris Urmson, guest
November 1, 2022

To complete an audacious journey, you need to set short, achievable goals — or waypoints — to avoid getting wildly lost. But waypoints also need to be flexible because when you’re knocked off track, you need to be able to realign your waypoints to get back on course. Aurora’s Chris Urmson shares how he keeps returning to short, flexible waypoints on his daunting journey to make autonomous vehicles part of our everyday lives.

Chris Urmson, guest
September 9, 2021

Creating a truly self-driving car is a complex and interlocking problem. As the founder of the autonomous driving company Aurora, Chris Urmson, says: “Given the scale of the problem, the complexity and breadth of it, we had to build the company almost ahead of the product.” He is determined to transform transportation – a goal that requires a great amount of energy and investment upfront.