Aurora Signs Contracts

Since Chris Urmson departed his perch as the head of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project in August, 2016, he’s flown pretty well below the radar. Urmson strikes me as an understated guy to begin with, so perhaps that’s not too surprising.

But his startup, Aurora Innovation, just announced partnerships to power self-driving cars for both Volkswagen and Hyundai:

“Both the VW Group (the parent company to VW, Audi, and many others) and Hyundai are working with Aurora to build the startup’s self-driving technology into some of their vehicles, with the ultimate goal of creating fleets that will be available on demand in cities. Each company says it plans to make Aurora-powered vehicles commercially available by 2021, and both will start testing prototypes later this year.”

Of particular note to me at Udacity, his LinkedIn profile says “we’re hiring” and The Verge reports:

“The war for talent right now is incredible,” Urmson says. “But my experience is that if you treat people well with respect and empower them to solve interesting problems, and you give them a good mission to work at, [keeping the talent] takes care of itself.”

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